BUFFALO – At the 18:30 mark of Friday’s second period, the New York Rangers penetrated the Sabres’ unusually stingy defense, generating a prime scoring opportunity on goalie Devon Levi.
To that point, Levi, 21, had seen little action – he faced just two shots in the first period – during his highly anticipated NHL debut.
Prior to the Sabres’ thrilling 3-2 overtime win, coach Don Granato said he believed the rookie’s presence would force his ... Read the full article
The days of the Sabres trying to lure big-name free agents to Buffalo are over. When the market opens today, they’ll likely be bit players, focusing on filling some of their many holes and adding depth while attempting to re-sign goalie Linus Ullmark.
Ullmark’s departure would be a massive blow to the Sabres. The Swede, their backbone and MVP, earned nine of the team’s 15 wins last season in only 20 outings.
They don’t ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked a little wonky early in his NHL debut, allowing a goal on the first shot he faced barely two minutes into the game. Later in the period, the Boston Bruins hit two goal posts.
But Luukkonen, 22, enjoyed plenty of help for much of Friday’s 6-4 win, allowing him to settle in and grow more comfortable as the night progressed inside KeyBank Center.
The Sabres stymied Boston’s offense ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When winger Taylor Hall learned the Sabres had fired coach Ralph Krueger, he said he felt sadness and even a little guilty.
Krueger’s presence helped convince Hall, who knows the coach from their days with the Edmonton Oilers, to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Sabres.
But Hall, the 2017-18 NHL MVP, has endured perhaps the worst year of his career, mustering just two goals and 16 points in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have a way of making any recent progress quickly feel like a distant memory.
For the first two weeks of December, they channeled some of their early-season form, shaking off an awful November swoon and moving back into a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Now, having dropped five of their last six games (1-4-1), they’re struggling again.
To make matters worse, in addition to losing 3-0 to the heavyweight Boston ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Fresh off a three-day Christmas break, the Sabres will change their lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins.
Illness will sideline defenseman Marco Scandella, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said.
Something has been spreading through the locker room. Krueger said Scandella called Thursday night and he he was sick.
“Hopefully he’s the last one,” Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “It kind was kind of going through. There were six, seven guys that felt ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres coach Phil Housley kept talking, growing more agitated as the seconds ticked by following Thursday’s ugly 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.
How often does a team get booed off the ice on opening night? How often does it happen after 40 minutes?
The Sabres looked dreadful against a Bruins team that had been annihilated 7-0 the previous night. So much for all that optimism.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The first glimpse of the new-look Sabres comes tonight, 180 days after they ended perhaps the worst season in franchise history.
Seven new faces will dress against the Boston Bruins, including first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin and winger Jeff Skinner, a two-time 30-goal scorer. The optimism surrounding the Sabres is well-deserved.
They’re a much different team than the dreadful one that finished in 31st place six months ago.
“They’re excited,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Even by Sabres standards, their start in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the New York Islanders was bad.
The Sabres have consistently stumbled, even occasionally imploded, early in games this lost season, falling behind and generating little offense.
Unlike other outings, however, the Sabres kept the puck out of their net early Thursday. Still, they chased the Islanders most of the first period, getting hemmed in their zone.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The play will be seared in Sabres rookie C.J. Smith’s memory the rest of his life.
Halfway through Smith’s NHL debut, Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders, the speedy winger grabbed Evander Kane’s pass just outside the blue line and zoomed into the zone on a two-on-one.
Smith then dished a backhand saucer pass to Kane, who beat goalie Jaroslav Halak for his team-leading 27th goal. Just 10:08 into his ... Read the full article