Rasmus Ristolainen had an assist Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen impressing in front of net on power play

BUFFALO – Over the last four seasons, Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged 36 assists. No one should be surprised the Sabres defenseman can pass the puck well.

Still, seeing Ristolainen help create winger Sam Reinhart’s power-play goal in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights looked unusual.

Ristolainen dished the puck from the front of the net, his new position on the power play.

“I feel everyone was kind of joking and surprised I can ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel beats Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on Tuesday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel’s ‘moment of brilliance’ helps Sabres beat Golden Knights

BUFFALO – For two periods, the Vegas Golden Knights stymied Sabres captain Jack Eichel, keeping one of the NHL’s most dynamic stars in check.

In the opening 40 minutes Tuesday, Eichel registered zero shots on goal and committed an uncharacteristic gaffe, telegraphing an ill-advised pass from deep in his own.

“I definitely made some bad turnovers,” Eichel said after scoring a scintillating game-winning goal late in the Sabres’ 4-2 victory inside KeyBank Center.

While the ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has been producing offense. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons scoring goals, feeling confident on top line

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons occasionally flashes some of the skills that helped make him the 14th overall pick in 2012.

In Sunday’s 5-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings, Girgensons utilized his soft hands to score on a short-handed breakaway. In Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, he tipped linemate Kyle Okposo’s laser in, briefly tying the game.

In 46 games this season, Girgensons has compiled eight goals, his highest total since ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has lost 11 straight games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres fall apart late to Canucks, can’t help Carter Hutton: ‘A lot of it’s on us’

BUFFALO – It can be easy to feel sorry for Carter Hutton these days.

Three months ago, Hutton ranked among the NHL’s best goalies. His superb netminding – he began the campaign 6-0-0 – helped buoy the Sabres’ terrific October.

But Hutton’s season started falling apart months ago. Incredibly, he hasn’t won a game since Oct. 22.

Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks dropped Hutton’s record to 0-7-4 in his last 11 starts.... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) celebrates his second-period goal Saturday afternoon. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Sam Reinhart’s presence in circle boosting power play

BUFFALO – Long before he developed into a terrific net-front presence in the NHL, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart operated from the circle on the power play.

“It’s a pretty normal spot,” Reinhart said after scoring a power-play goal from the left circle in Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks inside KeyBank Center.

After moving back there earlier this month, Reinhart has looked comfortable, scoring on two one-timers.

Those goals, believe it or not, ... Read the full article

Jimmy Vesey has scored five goals this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jimmy Vesey looking to seize opportunity beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – After enduring a 20-game goal drought to start his Sabres career, winger Jimmy Vesey has scored five times in his last 21 outings.

“Which is about where I want to be,” Vesey said Friday after practicing on the top line beside center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.

Having averaged 17 goals over his first three NHL seasons with the New York Rangers, Vesey’s recent numbers are in line with his normal production.

“The ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson broke his right ankle last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson rewarded for strong start with Amerks

BUFFALO – After winger Scott Wilson broke his right ankle in training camp last season and missed the first three months, he spent five weeks in the minors.

While Wilson, 27, made it back to the NHL – he played 15 late-season games with the Sabres – his recovery was far from over.

“Really dealing with that ankle was a full-year thing for me,” said Wilson, who was injured Sept. 30, 2018.

So when the ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson (68) was injured Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Replacing rookie Victor Olofsson will be tough for Sabres

BUFFALO – Winger Victor Olofsson’s absence for the next five to six weeks could extinguish the Sabres’ playoff hopes. From the get-go, they’ve relied on the Swedish rookie to score goals.

Now, the lower-body injury he suffered in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers could sideline him until mid-February, the Sabres announced Friday.

Having scored 16 goals and 35 points in 42 games, including six power-play goals in the first seven contests, Olofsson ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson (68) hobbles off the ice Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Victor Olofsson out five to six weeks with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – A lower-body injury will sideline rookie winger Victor Olofsson, the Sabres’ second-leading scorer, five to six weeks, the team announced today.

His loss is a massive blow to a team fighting for a playoff spot. He ranks second in goals and points on the Sabres, trailing only captain Jack Eichel, his center.

Olofsson has scored 14 goals and 35 points in 42 games this season. He has been a threat from the ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel beats Edmonton goalie Mike Smith on a penalty shot in overtime Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel scores on penalty shot in OT after Sabres lose Victor Olofsson

BUFFALO – For 10 seconds during the first minute of Thursday’s overtime, Sabres captain Jack Eichel stood behind his own net to recharge as his teammates changed.

Possession is critical in three-on-three overtime, especially with Edmonton Oilers superstars Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl lurking nearby.

So Eichel wasn’t about to give the puck up. The center waited and waited and waited before the capacity crowd of 19,070 inside KeyBank Center.

At that point, Eichel had ... Read the full article