Taylor Hall (right) battles New Jersey’s P.K. Subban on Jan. 31. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall returns to practice; Sabres add three players from Amerks

BUFFALO – Winger Taylor Hall, who was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list on Feb. 2, is practicing with the Sabres this morning inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres still have eight players in the league’s COVID protocol. They’re scheduled to host the New York Islanders on Monday.

Hall, 29, is practicing at left wing beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. Jeff Skinner, meanwhile, is at left wing with top center Jack ... Read the full article

Lindy Ruff (pictured) worked with Sabres coach Ralph Krueger at the 2014 Olympics. ©2021, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Why did Ralph Krueger hide Sabres’ lines from Lindy Ruff, Devils?

BUFFALO – In Sunday afternoon’s pregame warm-up, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger showcased the same lines he had utilized the previous day against the New Jersey Devils, with one exception.

Casey Mittelstadt, who was replacing Tage Thompson, skated at left wing beside top center Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson.

Then when Sunday’s contest started, Krueger changed three of four Sabres’ lines. Only one trio from warm-ups – center Cody Eakin, left wing ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has played two games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt impressing Sabres, could earn more game action

BUFFALO – Having spent the entire game skating on the fourth line, Casey Mittelstadt hardly seemed like a forward Sabres coach Ralph Krueger would utilize in the waning seconds of a one-goal game.

Mittelstadt, 22, was only making his second appearance this season in Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils. The Sabres had just elevated him from the taxi squad earlier in the day.

Krueger had two former 40-goal scorers – Jeff ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (right) celebrates his goal Sunday afternoon with Jack Eichel. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen wreaking havoc on power play

BUFFALO – As a defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen understands how a big body in front of the net can be a weapon during a power play.

“If some other teams, they have some good net-front presence, I know how hard it is to play when there’s guys standing in front of the net screening (the) goalie all the time,” the Sabres veteran said after scoring a power-play goal in Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson skated on two lines Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jeff Skinner replaces Tage Thompson on top line

BUFFALO – After skating on the fourth line all season, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner found himself in a familiar spot with top center Jack Eichel late in Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.

After Tage Thompson struggled filling in for injured winger Sam Reinhart, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger promoted Skinner to the first line for the third period at KeyBank Center.

“We just weren’t pleased with five-on-five scoring-chance production so we ... Read the full article

Riley Sheahan signed a one-year contract with the Sabres on Jan. 8. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Riley Sheahan fitting in well with Sabres: ‘He does everything right’

BUFFALO – The Sabres haven’t found many Riley Sheahan-types – a low-cost role player capable of providing valuable minutes and moving around the lineup – over the past decade.

Myriad factors have contributed to the Sabres’ struggles, and their inability to add depth through trades or free agency ranks near the top of the list.

But the versatile Sheahan, 29, quickly established himself after signing a professional tryout contract to attend training camp. He earned ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar scored twice Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar, fourth line help Sabres annihilate Flyers, earn first win

Late in the first period Monday, Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar grabbed the puck at the blue line, skated into the left circle and backhanded a shot underneath the crossbar.

Then after the Sabres grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lazar sealed the Sabres’ first win in the second period, connecting on a nifty pass from linemate Riley Sheahan in front of the net.

When the Sabres, NHL lightweights for nearly a ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart winces in pain after getting injured Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sam Reinhart misses practice with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Sam Reinhart, who briefly left Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, is day to day with a lower-body injury, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Reinhart did not practice Sunday but accompanied the Sabres to Philadelphia, where they begin a two-game series Monday against the Flyers.

Krueger said Reinhart’s injury, which he suffered in a collision behind the net, “appears to be manageable.”

“We will do a pregame skate again tomorrow ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates in front of Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres outplay Capitals, can’t exploit rookie goalie: ‘We made him look good’

BUFFALO – A night after the Sabres looked like they hadn’t played a game in 10 months, they settled down defensively, generated offense and outplayed the Washington Capitals.

Of course, it did not result in a win for the Sabres, who couldn’t exploit Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in his NHL debut.

“I think we made him look good,” defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen said on a Zoom call after Friday’s 2-1 loss at KeyBank Center dropped the ... Read the full article

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article