Sabres' Housley misses practice.

December 28, 2017

Newark, NJ (WGR 550) - The Sabres practiced on Thursday, but Phil Housley was absent. The Sabres head coach was under the weather and stayed in the hotel. Former Blues head coach Davis Payne ran practice.

Jordan Nolan’s game seems to keep getting better and he’s been getting more chances to play. On Wednesday in Brooklyn, Nolan played with Jacob Josefson and Johan Larsson.

The trio had lots of possession time in the offense zone and created chances which they couldn’t capitalize on.

Nolan was able to beat a defenseman for a clear cut breakaway, but was stopped by Jaroslav Halak. Nolan said despite missing his chances, he’s keeping frustration at bay, “I don’t think frustration’s the word, I think maybe just thinking to yourself that I’ve got to bear down on the next one, but I’m getting chances and I think I’m playing well lately, so I think they’re bound to go in sooner or later. If I’m getting the chances, that’s great and if I wasn’t, I’d be a little more concerned.”

Nolan has only scored in one of the 33 games he’s played in Buffalo.

Johan Larsson doesn’t have a goal in 31 games and has only one this season. Larsson is getting frustrated that he can’t break through, “It’s frustrating for sure. I think it’s been tough because lately I’ve been having chances, but it won’t go in for me, so I need a little bounce and then maybe it’ll start going in more and more.”

Larsson is probably Buffalo’s best penalty killer which helps keep him in the lineup. He’s a good shot blocker and anticipates very well to get into the passing lanes. Larsson said it’s something he takes pride in, “We keep the same pair, so you know which guy you go with and then you read off each other good. We also talk about their plays, but in the end, you’ve got to make reads out there and you have to be willing to block those shots and be in the lane.”

Since he’s come back from injury, Larsson has been paired with Josefson on the PK.

The Sabres practiced on Thursday with the same lines and D-pairs that played against the Islanders.

The weather for the Winter Classic on Monday should be around 20 degrees with sun and wind. The teams will be at the home of the Mets on Sunday to check out the rink for a team practice and a family skate.