Rasmus Ristolainen (55) and Jonas Johansson look on during Thursday’s game. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose again, fall behind Canadiens: ‘We’ve let ourselves down’

BUFFALO – For about the opening nine minutes of Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Montreal Canadiens, it appeared some desperation had finally kicked in and the Sabres grasped they’re playing for their season right now.

They pummeled their Atlantic Division rival early, taking a 1-0 lead on Jack Eichel’s power-play goal at 7:11, his 30th this season.

When the Canadiens finally mustered their first shot on goalie Carter Hutton at 10:29, the Sabres had already pumped ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella played two and a half seasons for the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Marco Scandella living dream with hometown Canadiens

BUFFALO – Marco Scandella saw the end here coming. Not only did the Sabres have a surfeit of defensemen, he had an expiring contract.

Scandella, 29, knew he was a goner.

Still, when the Sabres traded him to his hometown Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 2 in exchange for a fourth-round pick this year, he was stunned.

“You’re always in shock when you get traded,” Scandella said prior to Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Sabres, ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson just played in the AHL All-Star Classic. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

First recall to Sabres special for goalie Jonas Johansson: ‘Just really pumped’

BUFFALO – On Monday, goalie Jonas Johansson represented the Rochester Americans at the AHL All-Star Classic, an honor he received for his breakout season.

After landing Tuesday night in Rochester following a long travel from Ontario, Calif., Amerks coach Chris Taylor called Johansson to relay some special news.

Johansson, 24, had earned his first recall to the Sabres. Having lost Linus Ullmark to a lower-body injury for three to four weeks in Tuesday’s 5-2 home ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella spent two and a half seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

To acquire Michael Frolik from Flames, Sabres had to trade Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – When the Sabres traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens shortly before Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers, it felt like another deal could be imminent.

The Sabres need help at forward. Why would they dish Scandella, 29, for or a fourth-round pick in 2020? They’re trying to win now, right?

Well, shortly after the Sabres announced the deal, they traded the pick they received from the Canadiens to the ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella joined the Sabres in 2017. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trade Marco Scandella to Canadiens for draft pick

BUFFALO – The Sabres traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens tonight for a fourth-round pick in 2020.

Update: The Sabres have traded the selection they received from Montreal to the Calgary Flames for forward Michael Frolik.

Scandella, a Montreal native, will be an unrestricted free agent following the season.

The Sabres and Canadiens, of course, rarely make trades. Right now, the sixth-place Sabres trail their Atlantic Division rival by one point.... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (9) skates past Shea Weber on Wednesday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Dynamic power play helps Sabres beat Canadiens in overtime

BUFFALO – Officially, center Marcus Johansson’s winner 1:30 into overtime Wednesday doesn’t count as the Sabres’ ninth power-play goal this season.

Johansson secured the Sabres’ third win in four tries (3-0-1), an exciting 5-4 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, five seconds after center Phillip Danault’s slashing penalty expired.

So, yes, on paper, Johansson’s one-timer from the right circle goes down as an even-strength score. But Danault hadn’t even gotten back into the play yet.

Make ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger is in his first season coaching the Sabres. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger, Canadiens’ Claude Julien share mutual respect

BUFFALO – Six years ago, Ralph Krueger’s job as a consultant for Team Canada’s Olympic entry at the Sochi Games offered the Sabres coach a chance to discuss hockey with some the game’s greatest minds.

Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff all served on Canada’s coaching staff.

“It was the best hockey coaching symposium you could go through with that group because of the way everybody exchanged everything,” Krueger ... 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

Jeff Skinner has moved beside center Marcus Johansson. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sniper Jeff Skinner off to fast start on new line

BUFFALO – As defenseman Ryan Murray started carrying the puck out from behind the Blue Jackets net Monday, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner lurked close by and followed him up the slot.

Before Murray could skate past the circles, Skinner stripped the puck and took off toward the net. The 40-goal scorer then beat Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo, tying the game at 11:58 into the second period.

“That was a pure Jeff Skinner goal,” Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour has played 11 games with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Newcomer Brandon Montour utilizing skills with Sabres

BUFFALO – In Anaheim, Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour couldn’t play the aggressive, exciting style he has consistently showcased in his first weeks here.

The Ducks’ conservative game constrained the speedy Montour, limiting his effectiveness.

“I got kind of caught with how they want me to play, specific areas where I was just a player on the team,” Montour said Thursday inside KeyBank Center.... Read the full article