Taylor Hall scored early in his Sabres debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres look rusty early, fall to Capitals in season opener after late comeback

BUFFALO – If Thursday’s disjointed performance against the Washington Capitals turns out to be a harbinger, the Sabres could be in for another long season.

In their highly anticipated season opener, the Sabres, who had six new faces in the lineup, looked like the same old team, losing 6-4 inside KeyBank Center.

If fans had been allowed to attend the game, you can bet they would’ve voiced their frustration a few times.

After a 10-month ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Eric Staal to center their second line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal leaves loss to Capitals after hit to jaw

BUFFALO – Sabres center Eric Staal left Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss to the Washington Capitals after Nic Dowd elbowed him in the jaw.

Coach Ralph Krueger had no update following the game on Staal, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 16 to center the second line.

“I saw what you saw,” Krueger said on a Zoom call. “We’re just assessing him. It’s one of those where it’s definitely in a day-to-day status ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton enjoyed a terrific training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton earns opening night start

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger’s decision to award goalie Carter Hutton the opening night start against the Washington Capitals wasn’t surprising.

Yes, Hutton, 35, struggled most of last season, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. But his turnaround started at the end of 2019-20, when enjoyed a 6-2-0 run in February.

Hutton performed strongly throughout training camp this year, quickly morphing into one of the Sabres’ standouts. Meanwhile, goalie Linus Ullmark missed the ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could make his NHL debut later this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ roster almost set; Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn to remain in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The 27 players who participated in Tuesday’s practice will start the season on the Sabres’ roster or taxi squad, coach Ralph Krueger said.

That means 19-year-old forward prospects Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s last two first-round picks, will remain in the NHL for now.

Of course, the Sabres must sort some things out before Thursday’s opener against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Krueger said center Curtis Lazar (lower-body injury) and ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe believes coach Ralph Krueger is the right guy to lead the Sabres during a difficult season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prepared for unexpected as training camp opens during pandemic

Short training camps are nothing new for Ralph Krueger.

Krueger spent 13 years leading Team Switzerland at major international tournaments. He coached Team Europe to the final of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, a gig that helped him land in Buffalo. Prior to joining the Sabres, his only season as an NHL head coach, 2012-13, began in January following a lockout.

Krueger had about a week to begin putting his mark on the ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen got off to a torrid start in Finland this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres release training camp roster, schedule; 37 players to participate

On Friday, the Buffalo Sabres will touch the KeyBank Center ice for the first time in 296 days and begin preparing for the most unusual of seasons.

The NHL will be attempting to play during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will likely experience problems – positive tests, postponements or even cancellations – as the schedule unfolds.

But those potential roadblocks can be examined another day. The Sabres’ 10-month break is nearly over. Training camp officially ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel scored a career-high 36 goals in his fifth NHL season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres captain Jack Eichel frustrated by losing: ‘I’m fed up’

In their first five seasons with Jack Eichel, the Buffalo Sabres have been a perennial loser, winning just 39 percent of their games. Despite earning his place among the game’s elite talents, the captain still hasn’t sniffed the playoffs.

This year, the Sabres missed the NHL’s 24-team postseason qualifying round by one win.

When Eichel was drafted second overall in 2015, the thought of the Sabres missing the playoffs for the next five ... Read the full article

Jake McCabe scores a short-handed breakaway goal against Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray on Thursday. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to score goals again dooms them in loss to Penguins

BUFFALO – Having dropped all four games of their recent road trip, the Sabres sealed their fate long before Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

While the Sabres haven’t officially been eliminated from the playoffs, they will earn their eighth straight DNQ in the coming weeks.

Barely two weeks ago, the Sabres’ slick offense helped them roar back into the playoff race. They scored 23 goals over a six-game stretch, winning five times.

They ... 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

Carter Hutton has lost 11 straight games. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres fall apart late to Canucks, can’t help Carter Hutton: ‘A lot of it’s on us’

BUFFALO – It can be easy to feel sorry for Carter Hutton these days.

Three months ago, Hutton ranked among the NHL’s best goalies. His superb netminding – he began the campaign 6-0-0 – helped buoy the Sabres’ terrific October.

But Hutton’s season started falling apart months ago. Incredibly, he hasn’t won a game since Oct. 22.

Saturday afternoon’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks dropped Hutton’s record to 0-7-4 in his last 11 starts.... Read the full article