Sabres give Grigorenko a chance to shine

‘“I got stronger on my skates because of that injury,” Grigorenko said. “I had to focus on my leg strength. I’ve been getting lower on battles in the corners. It helps protect my knee, but it helps my game and gives me better balance too.”’

Unheralded goalie giving Sens a shot

‘Ottawa has gone 8-1-2 in its last 11 games and entered Thursday four points out of the final wild card in the East. The Senators were 11-11-5 when coach Paul MacLean was fired on Dec. 8. Under new coach Dave Cameron, Ottawa is 17-12-6.’

Sabres goalie Chad Johnson ready for debut, has chance to grab No. 1 job

‘“Another one of these guys who’s going to get a great opportunity to show his skill and do it well,” Nolan said. “You never know how it works out down the road.”’

Sabres’ Mikhail Grigorenko should get long look

‘“I think I’ll just try to play my game and try to do what I did this year in Rochester, try to play the offense and create some opportunities,” Grigorenko said about this recall.’

Friday’s Ottawa Coverage

Gameday: Ottawa Senators host Buffalo Sabres (Ottawa Sun)
Sabres-Senators Preview (AP)
Buffalo Sabres (19-40-5) at Ottawa Senators (28-23-11) (The Sports Network)
Johnson to make Sabres debut in net vs. Senators (NHL.com)
Gameday Journal: Game 63 – Sabres vs. Senators (OttawaSenators.com)

Sabres’ Grigorenko wants to show he belongs

‘Grigorenko has maintained his new, great attitude the whole season and Thursday was no different, “Or course, anytime you get called up and anytime you get to play hockey, it’s a good opportunity whether it’s the AHL, junior, the NHL, World Juniors, I think anytime people can see you play, it’s a good opportunity, so I’ll try to make the best of it and I’m really excited.”’

Johnson eager for 1st start Friday

‘Johnson last started on Feb. 28 against Carolina. This season, he’s 8-8-1 with a .889 save percentage and a 3.08 goals-against average, but mentioned that one bad stretch of games has caused his numbers to balloon. In his past five games, he’s 2-2-1, and has stopped 159 of 170 shots (.935 save percentage).’

Friday’s Rochester Coverage

Pelech brothers reunite as Amerks teammates (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Amerks sign forward Michael Pelich to PTO (Amerks.com)

Sabres’ departures open a rare door

‘“Come to the rink with a good attitude. Be all ears at all times,” Varone said. “Whenever someone has a pointer for me, always take it in and take in as much as I can. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment. Obviously it’s not every day you get to play a lot of minutes in the NHL, so I’m just doing what I can with it.”’

Sabres’ Phil Varone ready to seize best chance of young career

‘“It’s not about not getting an opportunity anymore,” Varone said. “I’m getting my opportunity, so it’s on me.”’

Sabres Undaunted in the Race to the Bottom

‘What emerges as key games that could decide this race happen on March 26 and March 30, when the Sabres and Coyotes square off home and home. The dynamics and drama of that first game in Buffalo will be off the charts, the player and fan reactions intense, and will showcase the craziness that this season has become in all its glory.’

Varone, Larsson seizing new opportunities

‘“For young guys who really believe that they can play in the National Hockey League, they’re really going to have an opportunity to prove that they can,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said after the team’s practice at HARBORCENTER on Wednesday.’

Thursday’s Rochester Coverage

Amerks push Comets to shootout despite departures (Rochester D&C)
Comets beat Amerks in shootout at Aud (Utica Observer Dispatch)
Hackett shines in 3-2 shootout loss to Utica (Amerks.com)
Final: Comets 3 vs Amerks 2 (SO) (UticaComets.com)

Sabres post-trade lineup plays out same old story

‘The Sabres finished last year 2-16-2 over their last 20 games to easily finish last overall. They didn’t win the draft lottery but were more than satisfied to take Sam Reinhart with the No. 2 pick. There’s a pretty good chance the final 20 games this year will be equally as putrid.’

11 goalies have suited up since Miller left

‘Seriously. Eleven. In just 53 weeks. With so many stories among them.’