Sabres end 18-game skid with 6-1 win over Flyers
Buffalo Sabres celebrate a goal by center Curtis Lazar (27) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)BUFFALO, N.Y. – Embarrassment for Brandon Montour and the Buffalo Sabres turned into relief on Wednesday night. The Sabres ended their 18-game skid — the NHL’s longest in 17 years — with a resounding 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. AdThe Sabres also snapped a 0-9-2 home skid, one short of matching a franchise record set during the 1990-91 season. After Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov scored 3:50 into the second period, Buffalo responded by closing the period with goals from Fogarty and Casey Mittelstadt.
The Latest: Sabres coaches placed in NHL COVID protocol
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Buffalo Sabres interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis have been placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The development leaves general manager Kevyn Adams taking over behind the bench for Buffalo’s game at Pittsburgh on Thursday night. This marks the second time the Sabres have been hit by COVID-19 in two months. Buffalo’s season was paused for two weeks in early February after nine players and then-coach Ralph Krueger were placed in the protocol. The university said the team went through seven rounds of testing in the seven days leading up to its departure for Albany on Wednesday.
The Latest: Denver's Ball Arena to allow fans for NBA, NHL
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Denver Nuggets of the NBA and the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL will allow up to 4,050 fans into Ball Arena starting April 2. KSE said a Nuggets game on March 30 and an Avalanche contest on March 31 will allow frontline staff, health care providers and first responders. The first game for ticketed fans will be when the Avalanche host the St. Louis Blues on April 2. ___The status of the Sabres-Bruins game in Buffalo on Thursday night is uncertain after both teams placed personnel in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. The game Thursday night is supposed to be Buffalo’s first this season with a limited number of fans.
Sabres fire coach Krueger while in midst of 12-game skid
The Sabres fired coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)BUFFALO, N.Y. – Firing Buffalo Sabres coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday represents just the beginning of what could become Kevyn Adams’ major overhaul of an overpriced, underperforming team in the midst of a 12-game skid. The Sabres are starting fresh yet again with Krueger becoming Buffalo’s sixth coach fired in just over eight calendar years. AdKrueger is the third NHL coach fired this season, after Montreal dismissed Claude Julien and Calgary replaced Geoff Ward with two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Darryl Sutter. “There has to be pride that goes with putting on a Buffalo Sabres’ jersey.”The Sabres have lurched from one crisis to another this season.
Another blow to Sabres: Eichel out for `foreseeable future'
The injury is not considered season-ending, though Krueger on Saturday was unable to provide a fixed timetable on how much time Eichel will miss. Eichel’s latest injury is separate from the previous two that have severely hampered his production this season. Eichel also missed two games last month with a lower-body injury. And the Sabres are also missing two key defensemen, including Jake McCabe, who sustained a season-ending knee injury last month. Cozens has three goals and two assists in 20 games, and had been elevated to playing on Buffalo’s top line in place of Eichel.
Barzal shines as Islanders beat Sabres for 4th straight win
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Mathew Barzal and Scott Mayfield each had a goal and an assist and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory. New York beat Buffalo for the fifth straight time this season, outscoring the Islanders 19-7 in those five meetings. Cal Clutterbuck extended the lead at 8:45, sending a wrist shot past Hutton for his second goal this season. AdMayfield made it 4-1 with his second goal of the season at 15:29, firing another high shot past Hutton. IRON MENThe Islanders have three players with consecutive game streaks of last 250 games: Lee 292, Brock Nelson 269 and Barzal 256.
Elliott stops 23 shots in Flyers' 3-0 win over Sabres
The Flyers were spurred by a replenished lineup in which four players returned after spending two weeks in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. They included Scott Laughton, who scored a breakaway goal to make it 3-0 late in the second period. Elliott improved to 5-1 this season and upped his career record to 15-2-2 with four shutouts against the Sabres, including a 40-save outing in a 3-0 win on Jan. 19. Elliott chalked up his dominance to opening his career with Ottawa, Buffalo’s traditional Atlantic Division rival. The Sabres dropped to 2-6-1 in their past nine and played their second game without captain Jack Eichel, listed as day to day with a lower body injury.
Sabres injuries mount; Skinner's status remains uncertain
Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger still wasnt ready to say whether high-priced forward Jeff Skinner will resume playing after a three-game benching. Except to say it's not a disciplinary issue, Krueger has declined to detail the reasons behind his decision regarding Skinner. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres enter the weekend dealing with injuries to two key players and uncertainty as to whether coach Ralph Krueger is going to end the benching of high-priced forward Jeff Skinner. Krueger would only say Skinner would be available to play Saturday. As for Ullmark, Krueger said the goalie is still being evaluated to determine the severity of the injury he sustained in the first period against the Devils.
NHL adapts COVID-19 approach through 1st month of season
“I’m feeling quite well but, of course, scarred by the experience.”The first month of the NHL's pandemic-shortened season has been a bumpy one. From Jan. 13 through Saturday, 120 players from 26 of 31 teams have spent at least one day on the COVID-19 list. Minnesota and New Jersey are scheduled to return Tuesday, while the Philadelphia Flyers, who currently have seven players on the NHL COVID-19 list, are on pause until at least Thursday. AdThe NHL had 22 players on the COVID-19 list on Jan. 30, and that number ballooned to a season-high 59 on Friday. Rapid tests return results within a half hour and augment the PCR daily tests which were already taking place.
NHL revises virus protocols; Colorado is 5th team shut down
New York Rangers coach David Quinn of the New York Rangers stands behind the bench during the team's NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo via AP)The NHL revised its virus protocols in a bid to keep the shortened season on track, but not before a fifth team was idled by COVID-19 problems. Hours after the league announced changes visible in arenas and important behind the scenes, Colorado joined the growing list of U.S.-based teams shut down for virus concerns. Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog joined teammate Tyson Jost on the league's COVID-19 unavailable list Thursday. Bettman said fewer than half the players in protocol have been because of a confirmed positive test and many of those were asymptomatic.
Shorthanded Capitals beat Sabres 4-3 in home opener shootout
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)WASHINGTON – Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist, Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves through overtime and the short-handed Washington Capitals beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout Friday night in their home opener. Vanecek was perfect in the shootout to pick up his second victory of the season as defenseman John Carlson scored the shootout winner. Buffalo rookie Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal on a top-shelf snipe past Vanecek in the second period. Eric Staal and Riley Sheahan each scored his first goal since joining the Sabres. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves and was spotless in the shootout until Carlson beat him.
Taylor Hall saw only positives in signing with Sabres
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2020, file photo, Arizona Coyotes left wing Taylor Hall (91) is shown during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, in Glendale, Ariz. Forward Taylor Hall surprised many in turning down numerous contending NHL teams which courted him, and instead sign with the Buffalo Sabres in free agency. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)BUFFALO, N.Y. – Taylor Hall refused to buy into the negativity surrounding the Buffalo Sabres, and instead focused on the positives. And though Taylor acknowledged receiving longer-term offers from numerous teams, he settled on a one-year test-run contract with Buffalo. “Obviously, I’m betting on myself, but I’m betting that the Sabres can improve and have a good hockey season.
Sabres agree to sign Taylor Hall to 1-year, $8 million deal
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres are banking on Taylor Hall to turn what was a long and unsettled offseason into a far brighter immediate future. Buffalo became the surprise team to win the Hall free-agency sweepstakes by signing the 10th-year forward and six-time 20-goal-scorer to a one-year, $8 million contract Sunday night. The deal came together after the Sabres made landing Hall their top priority in free agency, with second-year coach Ralph Krueger playing an integral role. Krueger was an assistant in Edmonton during Hall's rookie season, and then spent the 2012-13 lockout shortened year as the Oilers coach. The Sabres entered free agency about $26 million under the NHL’s salary $81.5 million cap, and are currently projected to have about $14 million of space available following Hall’s addition.
Red Wings have shot to win NHL lottery to draft Lafreniere
The Detroit Red Wings desperately hope to win the NHL draft lottery, giving them the first shot to perhaps select Lafreniere. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)The once-proud Detroit Red Wings hope to win the NHL draft lottery, giving them a shot to select Canadian Alexis Lafreniere. The Red Wings had a league-low 17 wins in their 71-game season. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman did not sound as if he was fond of the format. Ralph Krueger is Buffalos sixth coach over the span, and newly hired Kevyn Adams the fourth general manager of the franchise.