Jordan Greenway is a top penalty killer. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Ten months after trade, Sabres’ Jordan Greenway playing big minutes

BUFFALO – In his seven-year career, Sabres winger Jordan Greenway has never earned this much ice time.

In each of the last two games entering Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken, Greenway, a third-liner and top penalty killer, led the team’s forwards in ice time.

In Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, he skated 20 minutes, 19 seconds, marking the second time in his last 11 games he has eclipsed the 20-minute mark. In Thursday’s 6-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, he played 18 minutes, 39 seconds.

Greenway, it should be noted, compiled those minutes battling illness. He sat out practices Friday and Monday but was expected to play against Seattle.

“It was fine,” he said of playing sick. “When you get into a game situation like that, you can usually figure it out one way or another.”

Coach Don Granato, having had Greenway, 26, in junior hockey, vouched for the Sabres to trade for the Canton native last season after he fell out of favor with the Minnesota Wild.

While he has battled injuries following his arrival March 3 – he had shoulder problems last year and recently returned from a lower-body injury – his effectiveness has grown.

“I can bring a little bit of a different element for the team,” Greenway said following Tuesday’s morning skate in KeyBank Center.

Granato called the 6-foot-6, 231-pound Greenway a “very mature player” who possesses a “sense of objective” and “situational awareness.”

“Compensates for others quite a bit, helps others, covers for others,” Granato said. “(He) … can cover a lot of ice with his reach and size and strength. So he’s a very good athlete with a lot of experience now that he makes life a lot easier cleaning up a lot of messes for other guys. Not necessarily the messes they make, but that could occur, because he anticipates, he reads the situation very well.”

Greenway had compiled 85 minutes, 47 seconds of short-handed ice time this season entering Tuesday’s game, the most among Buffalo’s forwards.

In his first six seasons, he had never played 20 minutes in one game. This year, he had surpassed the mark three times in 28 outings entering Tuesday.

Overall this season, Greenway had averaged a career-high 16 minutes, 35 minutes of ice time.

“The fact that those guys have the trust in me to get done what we need to get done is something I take a lot of pride in,” Greenway said. “… It’s definitely rewarding.”

Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, who missed Saturday’s game with illness, skated Tuesday morning but missed his second straight contest.

The Sabres also scratched captain Kyle Okposo (lower body) and defenseman Ryan Johnson (healthy).

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