Ilya Samsonov could be interesting goalie for Buffalo to pursue. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Through free agency or trade, Sabres must find another goalie

BUFFALO – The Sabres possess a stable of strong goaltending prospects.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, a Finn labeled as the Sabres’ goalie of the future, has looked impressive in his limited NHL action. While he has battled injuries and struggled at times in the minors, he’s still a terrific young talent.

The Sabres also boast Devon Levi, the NCAA’s top goalie last season at Northeastern, and drafted Topias Leinonen in the second round on Friday, ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk sat out one game last month. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup change as Henri Jokiharju returns from injury

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju will return tonight from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last six games, coach Don Granato said.

To make room, Granato said the Sabres will scratch defenseman Mark Pysyk against the Vegas Golden Knights.

When the Sabres had a surfeit of defensemen last month, they began rotating one in and out each game. Right now, however, Granato wants the team’s young defenders keep playing.

... Read the full article

Andrew Hammond has earned the nickname “The Hamburglar.” ©2019, Hickling Images

Season spent in minors special for Sabres goalie Andrew Hammond

BUFFALO – Last season, for the first time in his six-year career, new Sabres goalie Andrew Hammond didn’t play a single NHL game.

Even as an undrafted rookie in 2013-14, Hammond earned 35 minutes of big league action. In 2017-18, a tough campaign in which he bounced around and started just one regular-season contest, he won a playoff game for the Colorado Avalanche.

But last year, the affable Hammond, 31, spent the entire season with ... Read the full article

The Sabres have been in a four-month slump. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jack Eichel tries to accentuate positives of rough season

BUFFALO – After suffering eight straight losses, the Sabres enjoyed a rare opportunity to celebrate a little following Thursday’s 5-2 win, just their second victory in 17 outings.

Not only did they thump an opponent, winger Jason Pominville received a rousing ovation after scoring in what could’ve been his final home game with the Sabres, who close their miserable season tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.

The salute to one of the franchise’s all-time ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner tries to score on New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner on Tuesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Timely goals, strong defense help Sabres down Islanders

BUFFALO – Suddenly, after weeks of regularly shirking their duties and allowing four or five goals a game, the Sabres have started clamping down defensively.

The results? Two wins over a three-game stretch while giving up just five goals. Following some downright awful defensive displays earlier in their seven-game home stand, the Sabres have finally started showcasing structure again.

Tuesday’s 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders doesn’t rank among their most exciting triumphs this ... Read the full article

Robin Lehner enjoyed a terrific season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Robin Lehner, Thomas Greiss forming dynamic tandem

BUFFALO – Before Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss morphed into the NHL’s best goaltending tandem, they struggled mightily a year ago, enduring rough seasons.

In 2017-18, Lehner, 27, battled personal problems while tending goal for the hapless Sabres, the league’s worst team. Meanwhile, Greiss, 33, played behind the New York Islanders’ porous defense, which allowed a league-high 293 goals.

But these days, the goalies are thriving, enjoying career-best campaigns for the upstart Islanders, who showcase ... Read the full article

Sabres coach Phil Housley called Jack Eichel a “force” Sunday afternoon. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Jack Eichel earning more ice time than ever

BUFFALO – In his four-year NHL career, center Jack Eichel has never consistently earned more ice time than in the past three weeks. The Sabres’ most meaningful games in seven seasons have prominently featured their captain.

Other than Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 win, a game the Sabres controlled, allowing Phil Housley to rest Eichel a bit for Sunday’s tilt, the coach has utilized his leading scorer a lot. Eichel has skated at least 20 minutes, ... Read the full article

Goalie Carter Hutton could see plenty of action during the Sabres’ home stand. ©2019, Hickling Images

Long home stand could make or break Sabres’ season

BUFFALO – For a struggling team that must rattle off wins if it hopes to snag a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, this is a gift. Starting tonight, the Sabres play their next seven games at home.

How rare is a seven-game home stand? It’s the longest in franchise history, tying a stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997.

The Sabres’ season hinges on this 15-day stretch. Realistically, they need to ... Read the full article

Jake MccCabe (15) battles the New York Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck on Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres lose game to Islanders, Jack Eichel to injury

BUFFALO – Three straight losses. A rough stretch in which they’ve dropped 11 of 15 games. An anemic offense that has produced just five goals in the last eight contests.

The Sabres closed 2018 like the opened it, struggling to win games and score goals.

Did we mention captain Jack Eichel, the Sabres’ leading scorer, left Monday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders nursing an upper-body injury after playing just 2:42?... Read the full article

Robin Lehner made his first visit to Buffalo with the New York Islanders on Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner happy, healthy with Islanders

BUFFALO – Robin Lehner said he couldn’t put a feeling on being back. Sure, it was a little weird sitting in KeyBank Center’s visiting dressing room. The goalie spent three seasons with the Sabres, an experience he’s grateful for.

But Lehner, 27, said he doesn’t want to look back too much.

“I got an opportunity,” Lehner said Monday prior to his stellar 39-save effort in the New York Islanders’ 3-1 win against his old team, ... Read the full article