Elliott stops 23 shots in Flyers' 3-0 win over Sabres
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Elliott (37) makes a save during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)BUFFALO, N.Y. – Brian Elliott stopped 23 shots to shut out the Buffalo Sabres for a second time this season in leading the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-0 win on Saturday. 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. 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 offseason moves influenced by coronavirus' impact on cap
Zdeno Chara is no longer in Boston after the Bruins captain signed with Washington. And the Sabres made an even bigger splash in free agency by landing 2018 NHL MVP Taylor Hall in October. Hall, for example, signed a one-year, $8 million deal with Buffalo by realizing the free-agent market was going to be tight. Oilers general manager Ken Holland chalked it up to the new economic realities facing the NHL. “It’s salary-cap related, which is related to the pandemic, which has given us a hard, flat cap for the foreseeable future,” Holland said.
NHL training camps open with sense of urgency
It was the first day of training camp for Laviolette and the Washington Capitals and most of the NHL. Camps are now open for the league's 31 teams and they will last just 10 days. “You get a fresh start,” said Jeff Skinner of the Buffalo Sabres, who haven't played a game since March. “Most players would argue that camps are a little bit long anyway," Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. “I’ve been told from our team and from the league, when a player is not on the ice during training camp, we’re supposed to say he’s not available today,” Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said.
Lightning Effect: Skilled NHL teams add grit to go for Cup
Rewind to 2019 and early 2020 and that description fits the Tampa Bay Lightning, who added some grit and toughness to their talented core and went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning effect was clear as soon as NHL free agency opened. “You need guys that are going to have a little bit of sandpaper. “We maybe have taken a little bit of a step back from the most skillful lineup we’ve ever had to more of a balance between the will and the skill," Poile said. We certainly have a little bit more physicality, a little bit more grit and I think it’s probably and hopefully a better mix than we had last year.”___More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports