Lawrence Pilut has spent the past two seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Lawrence Pilut leaving Sabres, joining Russian team

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut has left the Buffalo Sabres to join a Russian team in the Kontinental Hockey League.

Pilut, 24, has signed with Traktor Chelyabins, according to The Buffalo News. Hockeynews.se also reported Pilut was set to leave for Russia.

His new contract includes an NHL out clause, according to The News, although it’s unclear if he could depart the team during the season.

The Swede will become a restricted free agent when the ... Read the full article

Goalie Linus Ullmark stops Washington's Nicklas Backstrom in the Sabres' final game of the season March 9. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Another win could’ve earned Sabres path to playoffs in bizarre season

Throughout their nine-year playoff drought, the Buffalo Sabres have consistently ranked among the NHL’s bottom-feeders. Only once in that ugly stretch – in 2011-12, the season their run of futility began – have they contended for a postseason spot.

Eight years ago, the Sabres roared back from last place, briefly grabbing a spot before falling apart in the waning days of the season.

There haven’t been many what-ifs during the sorriest stretch in franchise history. ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has donated 5,000 protective face shields. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner make huge donations to COVID-19 response

Buffalo Sabres stars Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have joined owners Terry and Kim Pegula in making large donations to the local COVID-19 response.

Eichel announced Wednesday he has purchased 5,000 protective face shields from Bauer, whose hockey gear he has worn during his NHL career, that will be distributed to hospitals throughout Western New York.

Skinner, meanwhile, has donated $53,000 to the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund, an organization formed by 18 ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun (95), Victor Olofsson (middle) Marcus Johansson (90) celebrate Olofsson's goal Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Marcus Johansson meshing well with new linemates

BUFFALO – Marcus Johansson and Victor Olofsson started developing their chemistry in September, when they spent part of training camp as linemates.

But nearly six months passed before the Swedes shared any meaningful ice time during the regular season.

Olofsson, 24, earned a plum assignment at left wing beside top Sabres center Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, and he thrived there nearly all season, morphing into one of the NHL’s top rookies.

Meanwhile, Johansson, ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has an eight-game point drought. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart emerging from career-worst slump

BUFFALO – Late in Monday’s 3-2 shootout win, Sabres winger Sam Reinhart grabbed the puck along the right boards and skated below the goal line before quickly threading it through a cluster of defenders.

A second later, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour beat Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby from the edge of the left circle.

The play showcased some of Reinhart’s best talents – hockey sense, vision and adroit passing – and appeared to end his ... Read the full article

Dominik Kahun scores the shootout winner against Washington goalie Braden Holtby on Monday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres win in shootout after late goal disallowed: ‘Soft, questionable call’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jeff Skinner tried to choose his words carefully when asked if he knows what constitutes goalie interference.

“I’m gonna get in trouble for that one,” Skinner said with a smirk after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals ended the Sabres’ six-game losing streak. “I don’t know.”

Luckily, the questionable goalie interference call on Skinner that negated defenseman Brandon Montour’s goal with 2:48 left in regulation did not fluster the ... Read the full article

Jimm Vesey was scratched Saturday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Struggling Sabres haven’t quit on rough season

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ season certainly turned quickly. Two weeks ago today, they stood six points out of a playoff spot and acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds before the trade deadline.

Today, having lost six straight games in regulation, they’re 13 points out.

How bad is it getting? The Sabres haven’t dropped seven straight contests in regulation since their marathon 14-game losing streak halfway through the 2014-15 season. That, of course, was the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has started scoring goals again. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger finally puts Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner back together

BUFFALO – For 67 games this season, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger refused to play center Jack Eichel and winger Jeff Skinner together for any notable stretch.

Other than some occasional shifts, Krueger kept the lethal duo separated before reuniting them for Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.

Krueger has often explained he likes balancing the lines by placing a defensive presence on each one. So Skinner, who scored a career-high 40 goals playing beside Eichel last season, ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary returned to Pittsburgh last week. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Former Sabres Conor Sheary, Evan Rodrigues fitting in with Penguins

BUFFALO – In a little less than two seasons with the Sabres, Conor Sheary rarely played beside top center Jack Eichel. Instead, the winger often shuffled between the second and third lines as he struggled to score goals.

But in the four games since the Sabres traded him back to the Pittsburgh Penguins with forward Evan Rodrigues on Feb. 24, Sheary has received a plum assignment, skating beside superstar Sidney Crosby.

Sheary has gone from ... Read the full article