Carter Hutton posted two shutouts last week. ©2019, Hickling Images

NHL third star honor caps Sabres goalie Carter Hutton’s interesting week

BUFFALO – How’s this for an interesting week? Sabres goalie Carter Hutton posted two shutouts, yet he didn’t even start consecutive games.

Instead of awarding Hutton another nod, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger started Linus Ullmark both games following the veteran’s dazzling performances.

But Hutton, who who earned the NHL’s third star for the week ending October 20, isn’t worried about his playing time. He knows the coaching staff must make some hard decisions.

“I don’t ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton posted a 25-save shutout Monday afternoon. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Ralph Krueger has Sabres looking like playoff contender early in tenure

BUFFALO – Few figured coach Ralph Krueger could transform the Sabres so quickly that – gasp – a playoff berth would feel possible this season.

Players need time to understand new messages and systems. Besides, Krueger inherited a hapless team that won just two games last March.

It would take time – maybe months, even a season – before the Sabres showed real progress, right?

Well, six games into Krueger’s tenure, the Sabres are still ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark made 41 saves Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Johan Larsson line, goalie Linus Ullmark lead Sabres past Panthers

BUFFALO – Sooner or later, the unheralded Sabres line of Johan Larsson and Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo was due to erupt for some goals.

For more than four games, the trio consistently generated offense, buzzing around the opponent’s zone.

A combination regarded as the fourth just a week ago has quickly morphed into the Sabres’ most reliable line.

But other than one Okposo goal, the players hadn’t done any scoring.... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark made 40 saves Monday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start against Panthers

BUFFALO – Fresh off a terrific 40-save outing in his first appearance this season, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will start tonight’s home game the Florida Panthers.

Ullmark, 26, looked strong throughout Monday’s 4-3 overtime road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, helping the Sabres steal a point.

The Swede has compiled a 2-2-1 record with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage in five career outings against the Panthers.

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary has an upper-body injury. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary week-to-week; Evan Rodrigues set for season debut

BUFFALO – Right now, the Sabres don’t plan to recall a forward to replace winger Conor Sheary, who’s week-to-week after suffering an upper-body injury Monday, the team announced this morning.

The Sabres have 12 healthy forwards for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, which is enough for coach Ralph Krueger and general manager Jason Botterill.

Evan Rodrigues, a healthy scratch the first three games, practiced Tuesday in Sheary’s spot at right wing beside ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton started Thursday's game. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ plan for goalies Carter Hutton, Linus Ullmark still unclear

BUFFALO – After outplaying Carter Hutton last month, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark took a backseat Thursday, watching his partner’s splendid 28-save performance from the bench.

Coach Ralph Krueger said everything would be up for competition during training camp, and based on their preseason numbers, Ullmark deserved to start the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season opener.

But the decision, of course, wasn’t quite that simple.

Hutton, 33, played a career-high 50 games and started regularly for the ... Read the full article

Marcus Johansson has impressed coach Ralph Krueger. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Johansson honored by earning letter

PITTSBURGH – Marcus Johansson rarely displays much emotion. In good times and bad, the Buffalo Sabres center usually keeps an even keel.

Still, Ralph Krueger could tell being named one of the Sabres’ two alternate captains earlier this week had special meaning to Johansson.

“His Swedish persona (was) able to kind of tuck it away in the talk with me, but I thought he was extremely honored,” Krueger said prior to Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton played a career-high 50 games last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton to start opener; Evan Rodrigues to sit

PITTSBURGH – In almost equal preseason action, Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark outplayed Carter Hutton, posting a goals-against average 64 points lower and a save percentage 49 points higher than his partner.

But Hutton, 33, handled the load last season, playing a career-high 50 games.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who said everything was up for competition during training camp, probably wants to show Hutton respect on opening night against the Penguins.

The veteran will ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger hasn't coached an NHL game since 2013. ©2019, Hickling Images

Communication skills help Ralph Krueger win over Sabres early

PITTSBURGH – Kyle Okposo figures they spent 10 minutes talking about hockey. For most of the evening, the three Buffalo Sabres veterans dining with their new coach, Ralph Krueger, discussed their backgrounds and families.

The sport that consumes so much of their lives didn’t come up much.

“We barely talked about hockey,” Okposo said of the get-together.

When the Sabres hired Krueger on May 15, he hadn’t coached in the NHL in six years. ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson will be back soon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres send Victor Olofsson, Henri Jokiharju to Amerks, make other moves

BUFFALO – In what are almost certainly paper transactions, the Sabres sent winger Victor Olofsson and defenseman Henri Jokiharju to the Rochester Americans this afternoon.

The Sabres also recalled forwards Jean-Sebastien Dea and Curtis Lazar and defenseman Lawrence Pilut.

In addition, the Sabres placed defensemen Zach Bogosian, Matt Hunwick and Brandon Montour and goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on injured reserve.... Read the full article