Ralph Krueger’s team has fallen to the bottom of the NHL. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode against Islanders, lose sixth straight: ‘Just mental toughness’

The Sabres’ sixth consecutive loss started well enough. Rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson scored his first NHL goal 33 seconds into the game, giving Buffalo a rare lead it would hold the remainder of the period.

But given the Sabres’ recent futility and fragileness, it felt like they would implode following any misstep against the New York Islanders. Sure enough, after Mathew Barzal’s between-the-legs goal tied the game 3:51 into the second period, they fell apart.... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen was on the ice for every goal scored in Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres unravel against Islanders, lose fifth straight: ‘It’s a dangerous spiral’

In the waning minutes of first period in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders, winger Matt Martin grabbed a pass deep in the Buffalo Sabres zone and skated below the goal line, seemingly boxing himself into the left corner.

But Martin decided to shoot from what looked like an impossible angle, and the puck hit goalie Jonas Johansson in the head and bounced in, putting the Islanders up 2-0 16:21 into the game.... Read the full article

Taylor Hall has scored just one goal this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Despite slow start, Sabres’ Taylor Hall open to contract extension with Buffalo

When Taylor Hall shocked the hockey world by signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres, he said he was open to staying in Buffalo on a long-term deal.

Twenty-one games into the season, Hall and the Sabres have struggled mightily.

Hall scored his first goal since opening night in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders. It was his first even-strength goal this season and just his 13th point. The Sabres, having ... Read the full article

Philadelphia’s Scott Laughton scores on Buffalo goalie Carter Hutton on Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres get blanked by Flyers; Ralph Krueger says lineup changes coming

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ grueling schedule doesn’t let up for weeks. Fresh off Saturday afternoon’s ugly 3-0 loss to Philadelphia, they play the Flyers again today, their ninth game in 14 days since their COVID-19 pause ended.

The Sabres, incredibly, don’t have two consecutive days off until the first week of April. They have four more games next week. The jam-packed slate doesn’t offer them an opportunity to reset and enjoy any quality practice time.... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen missed seven games before returning Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen looks impressive in return, logs big minutes

BUFFALO – Instead of easing defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen into the lineup, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger threw him into the fray Saturday afternoon, skating him a game-high 8 minutes, 22 seconds in the first period.

Ristolainen, 26, showcased remarkable energy considering he had missed seven games while recovering from a nasty battle with COVID-19.

The 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ristolainen played a team-high 22 minutes, 17 seconds in the Sabres’ 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Finn ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 12 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark out at least one month; Jeff Skinner set to return

BUFFALO – A lower-body injury will sideline Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark at least one month, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Ullmark, who has started 12 of the Sabres’ 17 games, left Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils after the first period.

“It’s a hard hit, it’s a heavy hit,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said on a Zoom call this morning. “The best case we’ll get him back in a month. So a huge ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel is questionable for this weekend. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel questionable for weekend; Sabres could have reinforcements

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will likely miss this weekend’s two-game series against the Philadelphia Flyers, coach Ralph Krueger said. Meanwhile, captain Jack Eichel is questionable for the home contests.

Both players have lower-body injuries and did not practice today inside KeyBank Center.

Ullmark, the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie, left Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils after the first period. Kruger said Ullmark was having X-rays done this afternoon.

“We’re not ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark suffered a lower-body injury Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Jack Eichel, Linus Ullmark to injuries, game to Devils

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Riley Sheahan knew captain Jack Eichel was a little banged up heading into Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.

Still, Sheahan, a fourth-line winger, never expected he would be thrust into Eichel’s spot as the No. 1 center following the pregame warm-up.

“I … saw the lineup had changed and my name was up there with (Victor Olofsson) and (Sam Reinhart),” Sheahan, who opened the scoring, said on a Zoom ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 2. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen nearing return after rough battle with COVID-19

BUFFALO – In back-to-back outings prior to testing positive for COVID-19, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen played a total of 55 minutes, more than any player who participated in those games.

But the virus weakened the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Ristolainen so much he struggled to walk up the stairs of his home, he told a Finnish newspaper. He said Thursday morning he had no idea what could happen next as he battled COVID-19. He experienced a new ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has struggled this season, scoring zero goals in 14 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner skates with taxi squad, to be healthy scratch again

BUFFALO – When the Sabres convened on the KeyBank Center ice Thursday morning, winger Jeff Skinner was absent.

After the session ended, coach Ralph Krueger said the 13 forwards on the ice would either play or warm up tonight.

So where was Skinner? Krueger said he skated with the taxi squad this morning.

Right now, Skinner, who will be a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game tonight, can’t even crack the Sabres’ main practice ... Read the full article