Taylor Hall (right) battles New Jersey’s P.K. Subban on Jan. 31. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall returns to practice; Sabres add three players from Amerks

BUFFALO – Winger Taylor Hall, who was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list on Feb. 2, is practicing with the Sabres this morning inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres still have eight players in the league’s COVID protocol. They’re scheduled to host the New York Islanders on Monday.

Hall, 29, is practicing at left wing beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. Jeff Skinner, meanwhile, is at left wing with top center Jack ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen (right) celebrates his goal Sunday afternoon with Jack Eichel. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Ristolainen wreaking havoc on power play

BUFFALO – As a defenseman, Rasmus Ristolainen understands how a big body in front of the net can be a weapon during a power play.

“If some other teams, they have some good net-front presence, I know how hard it is to play when there’s guys standing in front of the net screening (the) goalie all the time,” the Sabres veteran said after scoring a power-play goal in Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson skated on two lines Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jeff Skinner replaces Tage Thompson on top line

BUFFALO – After skating on the fourth line all season, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner found himself in a familiar spot with top center Jack Eichel late in Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.

After Tage Thompson struggled filling in for injured winger Sam Reinhart, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger promoted Skinner to the first line for the third period at KeyBank Center.

“We just weren’t pleased with five-on-five scoring-chance production so we ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin takes a faceoff against the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad on Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Cody Eakin, Tobias Rieder and Sabres’ other newcomers already contributing

BUFFALO – With 33 seconds remaining Tuesday and the Sabres clinging to a one-goal lead against the New York Rangers, coach Ralph Krueger sent out center Cody Eakin to take a critical draw in his own zone.

Eakin has quickly become a trusted faceoff specialist, winning 59.4% this season. With winger Taylor Hall serving a boarding penalty and goalie Alexandar Georgiev on the bench for an extra attacker, the Sabres desperately needed the puck.

Eakin ... Read the full article

Riley Sheahan signed a one-year contract with the Sabres on Jan. 8. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Riley Sheahan fitting in well with Sabres: ‘He does everything right’

BUFFALO – The Sabres haven’t found many Riley Sheahan-types – a low-cost role player capable of providing valuable minutes and moving around the lineup – over the past decade.

Myriad factors have contributed to the Sabres’ struggles, and their inability to add depth through trades or free agency ranks near the top of the list.

But the versatile Sheahan, 29, quickly established himself after signing a professional tryout contract to attend training camp. He earned ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has quickly become one of the Sabres’ standouts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens scores pretty first goal in loss; Rasmus Dahlin benched

It ranks as one of the prettiest first goals scored by a Buffalo Sabres rookie in recent memory. Not only did winger Dylan Cozens unleash a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, he created his own goal by stripping the puck from Brian Pinho at center ice.

When Cozens, 19, scored 10:23 into second period, tying Friday’s game at 2, it appeared the Sabres had seized the momentum from the depleted Washington Capitals.

“It ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar scored twice Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar, fourth line help Sabres annihilate Flyers, earn first win

Late in the first period Monday, Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar grabbed the puck at the blue line, skated into the left circle and backhanded a shot underneath the crossbar.

Then after the Sabres grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lazar sealed the Sabres’ first win in the second period, connecting on a nifty pass from linemate Riley Sheahan in front of the net.

When the Sabres, NHL lightweights for nearly a ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates in front of Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres outplay Capitals, can’t exploit rookie goalie: ‘We made him look good’

BUFFALO – A night after the Sabres looked like they hadn’t played a game in 10 months, they settled down defensively, generated offense and outplayed the Washington Capitals.

Of course, it did not result in a win for the Sabres, who couldn’t exploit Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in his NHL debut.

“I think we made him look good,” defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen said on a Zoom call after Friday’s 2-1 loss at KeyBank Center dropped the ... Read the full article

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article

Eric Staal left Thursday’s game after taking an elbow to the jaw. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal to be game-time decision against Capitals

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal, who left Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals after getting elbowed in the jaw, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s rematch, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Update: Staal will play tonight.

If Staal can’t play, Kruger said newcomer Riley Sheahan will be moved to center. Sheahan played right wing beside center Curtis Lazar and Jeff Skinner in the season opener.

“We’ve got a backup plan,” Krueger said on a ... Read the full article