Buffalo Sabres Player News: Last 7 days, All Positions

News: Girgensons blocked a shot in the first period and didn't return after the first intermission Tuesday against Vegas, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: Girgensons notched one goal and two assists through the first six games. He's also proven himself to be a well-rounded center with 11 shots on goal, 11 hits and a plus-2 rating. The 23-year-old is already showing improvements from his 16-point, minus-7 outing of last season, and his next chance to return will be Friday against the Canucks.
News: Okposo (illness) will be back in the Sabres' lineup for Tuesday night's showdown in Las Vegas, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports.
Impact: Okposo was forced to miss two games as a result of his ailment, but he is apparently healthy and ready to retake his regular offensive role both on the power play and at regular strength. The Minnesota native has been shooting the puck plenty, racking up 11 shots on goal in his first four contests, but has yet to break into the points column, something he'll look to change against Malcolm Subban and the Golden Knights on Tuesday.
News: Josefson (undisclosed) is considered day-to-day and will not suit up for Tuesday night's road contest against the Golden Knights.
Impact: The day-to-day designation indicates that Josefson's injury isn't anything serious and he'll likely aim his sights on a return for Friday's game against the Canucks. Regardless, the Swedish pivot has yet to record a point this season and is more of a bottom-six role player for the Sabres, keeping him off the fantasy radar in most formats.
News: Johnson will tend the twine for Tuesday night's contest in Las Vegas, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: Johnson was sharp in his last outing, allowing just one goal in Sunday's win against Anaheim, but will have to be even sharper against James Neal and a Golden Knights team that has started off hot this season and has been fierce on the offensive end of the ice. Vegas will be starting the inexperienced Malcolm Subban in its own net, making Tuesday's game a winnable one for Johnson.
News: Larsson netted his first goal of the season and added a helper in Sunday's win over the Ducks.
Impact: Larsson had a productive night all around, firing five shots on goal and dishing out three hits. The third-line center has a 10-goal season to his name, but Larsson sees limited minutes and doesn't offer much to fantasy goers. He was on his way to a career year in 2016-17 before suffering season-ending injuries, so there's potential for him to develop into a reliable depth scorer.
News: Larsson had a goal and an assist as the Sabres beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Sunday night for Phil Housley's first victory as an NHL coach.
Impact: These were Larsson's first point of the season after producing nothing in the Sabres' first five losses.
News: Johnson made 25 saves and the Sabres beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Sunday night for Phil Housley's first victory as an NHL coach.
Impact: Johnson bounced back nicely from his only other start, when he allowed six goals in a loss to the Devils last week.
News: Johnson stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn the Sabres their first win of the season Sunday against the Ducks.
Impact: Johnson gave up six goals in his last outing, but this is exactly the performance that was needed to get Buffalo on track. Robin Lehner hasn't impressed in the early goings, so Johnson could really earn some crease time if he keeps up the strong play. The 31-year-old has only played 140 NHL games, but his career .914 save percentage is decent enough to make him a serviceable fantasy option in deeper formats.
News: There's a chance Okposo (illness) will return to the lineup Tuesday, The Buffalo News reports.
Impact: Okposo has missed the last two games against Anaheim and L.A. due to illness. He missed time at the end of last season due to illness as well, and it's unclear if his current condition is related. Through four games Okposo has yet to register a point despite taking 11 shots on goal. He'll return to his usual spot on the top two lines when he's healthy.
News: Bailey scored his first goal of the season on the first shift of his first game Sunday against Anaheim.
Impact: Bailey was at the right spot at the right time, putting in a rebound at the edge of the crease just 1:26 into the game. Called up from AHL Rochester on Sunday to help the team get out of a winless slump, Bailey logged fourth-line minutes and finished with just 9:39 of ice time. His strong performance has likely earned him another game with the Sabres, especially with Jacob Josefson (undisclosed) suffering an injury in the same game and Kyle Okposo (illness) on the shelf. Bailey is a budding power forward who has a bright future ahead of him, but has not been able to crack the roster yet. He has very little fantasy value at this point of his career.
News: Josefson (undisclosed) left Sunday's game against Anaheim in the second period and did not return.
Impact: Josefson suffered what seems to be an ankle injury midway through the second frame, and finished the night with just 7:18 of ice time. The bottom-six forward's status will be updated in the future, and his status for Buffalo's next game against Vegas on Tuesday is questionable.
News: O'Reilly finished Sunday's 3-1 win over Anaheim with an assist and a plus-1 rating.
Impact: O'Reilly has had a slow start to 2017-18 -- his third as a Sabre -- notching two assists and going without a goal through six games. That said, O'Reilly is playing over four minutes per game on the man advantage, where he's scored 16 goals and 46 points over the past two campaigns, so it shouldn't be long before he gets back on track. It should also be noted, however, that Jack Eichel is leading Sabres forwards in ice time and O'Reilly is averaging 19:36 per game, the first time he's averaged less than 21 minutes per game since moving to Buffalo.
News: Beaulieu notched a primary assist in Sunday's 3-1 road win over the Ducks.
Impact: This was the left-shooting rearguard's first point as a Sabre. You may recall that Beaulieu was acquired from Montreal for a 2017 third-round draft pick -- the Habs ultimately selected Scott Walford, an 18-year-old currently playing for the WHL's Royals. Fans of the Swords must be happy to see Beaulieu factoring into a scoring play, but he has yet to make an offensive impact on the power play or penalty kill, where he's skated for 2:21 and 2:08, respectively.
News: Okposo (illness) will miss his second straight game Sunday against Anaheim, the Buffalo News reports.
Impact: Even though Okposo is recovering and was able to work out Sunday, he's still not healthy enough to take the ice. The 29-year-old has gone pointless to start the season, but he recorded 45 points in 65 games last season for Buffalo and his offensive production will certainly be missed. Okposo will look to return Tuesday in Vegas
News: Johnson will tend the twine in Sunday's tilt against Anaheim.
Impact: Johnson hasn't had a great opening to the 2017-18 season, notching a 5.91 GAA and a .816 save percentage through his first two games. However, Robert Lehner has allowed three or more goals in three of his five appearances, so a string of quality starts could do wonders for Johnson's playing time.
News: Girgensons scored his first goal of the season in Saturday's loss to the Kings.
Impact: Girgensons has three points in the last two games after having none through Buffalo's first three. He's finished at a plus-1 in two straight games even though the Sabres remain winless.
News: Eichel had a goal, an assist and two penalty minutes in Saturday's loss to the Kings.
Impact: Eichel is off to a hot start after signing a huge extension just before the season began with seven points through five games. He's posted back-to-back multipoint games and even has six penalty minutes this season.
News: Lehner gave up three goals on 29 shots in Saturday's loss to the Kings.
Impact: Lehner is stuck without a win through four starts this season, but it has to do more with the team's overall performance than his individual play. The 26-year-old was great for Buffalo in 2016-17 and should start to pick up victories once the team gets going. His .917 career save percentage is proof enough that Lehner can be a valuable fantasy asset, so exhibit some patience, as Buffalo's starting netminder should have plenty to offer this season.
News: Girgensons scored his first goal of the season Saturday against the Kings.
Impact: Girgensons now has points in back-to-back games after being promoted to the top line. After playing less than 14 minutes in each of the first three games of the season, Girgensons played 16:17 against the Kings. He's always shown chemistry playing with Jack Eichel, and it looks like he may have found a permanent home after playing center and left wing on the bottom two lines for most of the past two seasons. Girgensons is trending up and may be worth the risk in deep fantasy leagues.
News: Bogosian was placed on injured reserve Sunday with a lower-body injury.
Impact: Bogosian, 27, had been limited in practice since being injured in the Sabres' final preseason game. In 56 games last season, he recorded 11 points (two goals, nine goals).
News: Eichel scored two points for the second consecutive game Saturday against the Kings.
Impact: The two-point effort now gives Eichel seven points in five games, and the with an increasing number of power plays early this season due to the crackdown on slashing penalties, Eichel is also averaging more than four minutes with the man advantage. It's concerning that the Sabres still have yet to win a game, but Eichel's doing all he can. Eichel also has just 12 shots in five games this season, which is an uncharacteristically low output for him, so perhaps he still has an another gear.
News: Bogosian (lower body) was placed on injured reserve Sunday.
Impact: Despite the transaction, not much has changed regarding Bogosian's outlook, as he was already slated to miss each of the team's next two games. Once those games pass, the Sabres should provide further updates on a potential timeline for Bogosian's return to the ice.
News: Bailey was recalled from AHL Rochester on Sunday, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports.
Impact: A 2013 second-round pick, Bailey possesses great size and a good release, which has helped him score 25 goals in his last 55 AHL games. Just 22 years old, Bailey has suited up in 40 NHL games to this point in his career, posting two goals and two assists. That being said, if the Buffalo native is given a look in the Sabres top-six group of forwards during this recall, he has the ability to emerge as an effective NHL scorer, though he's struggled to score at the NHL at an early stage in his career with just two goals in 40 games.
News: Okposo (illness) appears set to return Tuesday. He has yet to record a point in four games this season while posting a minus-6 rating.
Impact: Okposo did not play after March 27 last season after taking a hit in practice that caused sleeping trouble, weight loss and a hospital stay after a negative reaction to medication. Signed to a seven-year deal by Buffalo last summer, the 29-year-old had 19 goals and 26 assists in 65 games prior to being shut down.
News: Lehner will work between the pipes in Saturday's road game against the Kings, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports.
Impact: Lehner has struggled this season, compiling an 0-2-1 record while registering a 3.17 GAA and .901 save percentage over four appearances. The Swedish netminder will look to get on track Saturday in a tough road matchup with a Kings team that's averaging 3.0 goals per game.
News: Okposo has come down with the flu, thus ruling him out for Saturday's game against the Kings in Los Angeles, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports.
Impact: Harrington adds that the top-six winger could be held out of Sunday's away game with the Ducks as well. It's been a tough start to the season for Okposo, as he's skated to a minus-6 rating without any points through the season's first four games. Fortunately, his latest illness reportedly is unrelated to a problem with medications that saw him land in the intensive care unit at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.
News: Lehner stopped 23 of 26 shots in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: Lehner has lost all three of his starts while posting a 3.59 GAA and is clearly getting frustrated. "This is awful, it's not fun," Lehner said Thursday. "I had a guy in front of me the whole game."
News: Eichel had two assists and finished at a plus-1 in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: Eichel is tied for second on the Sabres with five points, including four in Buffalo's two road games. Buffalo has three games left on a four-game road swing. Eichel, though, has taken only eight shots this season, tied for sixth on the team.
News: Pominville had two goals and finished at a plus-1 in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: After totaling just 24 goals in the past two seasons with Minnesota, Pominville already has four through four games of his second stint in a Sabres uniform.
News: Gorges played 15:06 and blocked five shots in his first appearance this season Thursday against San Jose.
Impact: Gorges sat out the first three games of the season as a healthy scratch before head coach Phil Housley was forced to make lineup changes in an effort to jump-start a Sabres squad still in search of its first win. Housley's emphasis on speed relegated Gorges to the press box, but Gorges showed he can still contribute, and tied Jake McCabe with the most ice time on the penalty kill. At 33 years old, and with a very limited skill set, Gorges is a good soldier but nothing more than a third-pairing defenseman at best. He might have to fight all season long to draw into the lineup. Gorges has little to no fantasy value at the moment.
News: Ristolainen played over 26 minutes for the second straight game Thursday against San Jose, and also registered a team-high six shots on goal.
Impact: The Sabres have been talking about reducing Ristolainen's ice time for three straight years, but through four games this season he's averaging over 26 minutes per game yet again. Some of that can be attributed to more power-play time with a league-wide crackdown on slashing, but the Sabres just don't have anyone else who can play at both ends of the ice as effectively as Ristolainen. He's doing everything he can to help with two assists and 13 shots on goal, but a revamped blue line hasn't been as much of a help as everyone expected, so head coach Phil Housley is leaning on the young Finn once again. Ristolainen is easily a top-25 defenseman in fantasy, but you really wonder how much pressure and minutes he can take on before he starts to falter. The Sabres have three games remaining in their Western Conference road trip in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Las Vegas.
News: Girgensons dished out two helpers in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: Moving to the top line paid instant dividends for Girgensons, who immediately showed great chemistry with Jack Eichel and Jason Pominville as each member of the trio came away with two points. Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup was quiet as Buffalo fell to 0-3-1. Coach Phil Housley likely isn't done shuffling lines, but Girgensons will have short-term value as long as he's skating alongside Eichel.
News: Eichel dished out two helpers in Thursday's 3-2 loss to San Jose.
Impact: Eichel's line with Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville accounted for all of Buffalo's offense in this one, as the trio combined for both goals and six points. The man chosen behind Connor McDavid in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is turning into a fine player in his own right with five points through four games in the early going. Unfortunately for Eichel and the Sabres, that production hasn't translated to any wins.
News: Pominville scored both goals for his team in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: Pominville surprisingly has a pair of two-goal performances in his first four games back with Buffalo after totaling just 24 goals in 153 appearances with the Wild over the previous two seasons. The veteran winger will have value as long as he's skating on the top line with Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons, both of whom assisted on each of Pominville's goals.
News: Lehner stopped 23 of 26 shots in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Sharks.
Impact: Lehner and Sharks netminder Martin Jones both made 23 saves, but a Timo Meier goal with 5:30 to play in the second period provided the narrow winning margin for the hosts. The Swedish goaltender is still looking for his first win after four appearances, but losing is far from a foreign concept for Lehner and the Sabres.
News: Okposo (illness) participated in line rushes during pregame warmups, indicating he'll be in the lineup for Thursday's game against the Sharks, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: Okposo missed Thursday's morning skate due to an illness, but he'll slot into his usual spot skating on the Sabres' second line and second power-play unit against the Sharks. The 29-year-old forward has struggled out of the gate, as he's failed to tally a single point while registering an ugly minus-6 rating over the first three games of the campaign.
News: Okposo (illness) is a game-time decision for Thursday's game against San Jose, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: The former Islander woke up feeling under the weather, which caused him to miss the team's morning skate ahead of Thursday's tilt. If Okposo is able to play, he'll be looking to get off the schneid after going scoreless with a minus-6 rating in the first three games of the season. If he's unable to go, expect Matt Moulson to enter the lineup.
News: Lehner will defend the cage during Thursday's contest in San Jose, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: After taking a shot to the face during Wednesday's practice that required Lehner to get stitched up, the Swedish netminder was able to shake it off like a true hockey player in order to start Thursday. Lehner has great size and all the talent in the world, which isn't always reflected in his stat line due to the Buffalo team that plays in front of him. While the Sabres have what appears to be an improved roster in 2017-18, new bench boss Phil Housley's system -- which calls for defenders to frequently jump into the offense and be a fourth forward -- could see Lehner continue to be exposed to high-quality chances throughout the campaign.
News: Reinhart remained on the third line but moved back to right wing during Wednesday's practice, Sabres.com's Jourdon LaBarber reports.
Impact: Now entering his third full season in the NHL, where Reinhart fits best in Buffalo's lineup continues to be a head-scratching mystery. Drafted as a center, Reinhart was always known for his playmaking ability and high hockey IQ, but he was never considered an elite prospect because of his lack of speed and strength. Under former head coach Dan Bylsma, Reinhart almost exclusively played on Jack Eichel's right wing, and the pair showed good chemistry together. In an effort to balance out the scoring, current head coach Phil Housley deployed Reinhart at center to start the season, but the results have been disastrous; the Sabres are winless and Reinhart has zero points, just one shot on goal, a minus-6 rating through three games and has won just 35 percent of his faceoffs. Johan Larsson will take over as center, but Reinhart really needs to get going if he wants to stay in the lineup.
News: Girgensons was spotted skating on Jack Eichel's left wing during Wednesday's practice, reports Sabres.com's Jourdon LaBarber.
Impact: Despite the excitement surrounding new head coach Phil Housley, the Sabres have stumbled out of the gate to a 0-2-1 record, and Housley has seen enough to start juggling his lines. After starting camp on the top line, Girgensons was demoted and started the regular season in the bottom six instead, but now finds himself back on Eichel's wing as the Sabres prepare for Thursday's game against the Sharks. Girgensons has nine shots on goal but zero points through three games while averaging a career-low 11:58 per game, but he's also been very good in the past when playing alongside Eichel. However, fantasy owners should hold off on claiming Girgensons off the waiver wire until he has shown the ability to stay on that line.
News: Bogosian (lower body) will miss one more week of action at minimum, effectively ruling him out for the Sabres' next four contests, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
Impact: Buffalo has allowed 4.67 goals per game in its opening three outings and was probably hoping to get Bogosian back sooner rather than later. The oft-injured defenseman has yet to suit up in a regular-season matchup after getting hurt in the final preseason game Sept. 30. Thus far, Victor Antipin has filled in on the blue line; however, coach Phil Housley could also turn to Josh Gorges while the Sabres await Bogosian's return.
News: Lehner left Wednesday's practice early to get stitches after he was hit in the face.
Impact: According to coach Phil Housley, Lehner "should be fine," so it wouldn't be surprising to see the Swedish backstop get the starting nod for Thursday's road game against the Sharks. Lehner hasn't been great early on this season, posting an 0-1-1 record while registering a 3.21 GAA and .908 save percentage in three appearances.