Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played 14 games for Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen ready for chance in NHL

BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s last six outings, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said.

Yes, Luukkonen, 22, has looked sloppy at times since the Amerks’ COVID-19 pause ended late last month, compiling a 2-3-1 record and an awful .863 save percentage.

But a lot of players struggle after being forced to sit idle. Luukkonen did not play for three weeks.

Appert believes Luukkonen’s early-season exploits and the strong habits he has developed illustrate ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen missed Wednesday’s game in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen could make NHL debut this weekend

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s highly anticipated NHL debut could take place this weekend, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said.

The Sabres have become woefully thin in net, losing Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton to injuries after trading Jonas Johansson.

If Luukkonen hadn’t suffered a lower-body injury with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres likely would’ve recalled him before Thursday’s 5-2 road win over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Center. The Finn missed ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski enjoyed an impressive relief performance Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goaltending becomes concern again for Sabres

A lower-body injury will force Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to miss tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals, meaning Dustin Tokarski will receive his fifth start this season.

Taxi-squad goalie Michael Houser, who has never played an NHL game, will back up Tokarski. Houser, 28, hasn’t played a contest at any level in more than 13 months.

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen would be the only available recall, but Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert... Read the full article

Jack Quinn has played 11 games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Jack Quinn adapting to AHL, showcasing skills with Amerks

In scoring his second goal as a pro, Buffalo Sabres prospect Jack Quinn showcased some of the slick skills that made him the eighth overall pick in 2020.

On Saturday, Quinn utilized his speed to beat a Syracuse Crunch defender down the right wing before his hard backhander from the edge of the slot cemented the Rochester Americans’ 5-3 road win.

But Quinn’s willingness to cut to the net and go to the so-called “dirty ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen signed as a free agent with Buffalo in 2019. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want to give prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen look before season ends

BUFFALO – Arttu Ruotsalainen’s pro experience belies his prospect status. The Sabres rookie played six seasons in Liiga, Finland’s top pro circuit. When he left Ilves earlier this season, he had scored a league-leading 16 goals in only 19 games.

Ruotsalainen, 23, arrived here for training camp barely three months ago close to a finished product. So it wasn’t surprising the center earned his first NHL recall after playing just 13 games with the Rochester ... Read the full article

Steven Fogarty has an opportunity to stick in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Steven Fogarty impressing Sabres, has opportunity to stick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – There was no wild celebration. Not even a fist pump.

When Sabres winger Steven Fogarty scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday, he reacted as if he had done it 100 times. A smiling Fogarty simply raised his stick, pointed to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and shared a few fist bumps with his teammates.

By the time he started skating back to the bench, his grin had disappeared.

“It just happened so quick and ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

False COVID-19 positives caused Sabres’ Don Granato, Matt Ellis to miss game

When interim Buffalo Sabres Don Granato learned on Thursday his COVID-19 test had returned positive, he said he was in disbelief.

“Quite honestly, I didn’t believe it in the sense of, I said, ‘It’s not right, it didn’t feel right,’” Granato, who received his second vaccination last week, said on a Zoom call this morning. “And I say that because I believe the protocols that have been in place have given me a level ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis clear COVID-19 protocols, join Sabres in Boston

Interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis cleared the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and joined the Buffalo Sabres following Friday’s practice in Boston.

The Sabres announced shortly before Thursday’s 4-0 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that Granato, 53, and Ellis, 39, had entered protocol and were self-isolating.

General manager Kevyn Adams filled in for Granato and the Sabres also promoted Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert to fill in for Ellis.... Read the full article

Don Granato has coached the Sabres three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Everything has gone wrong for Sabres in chaotic season

Ninety minutes before his NHL head coaching debut, Kevyn Adams was more focused on stepping behind the bench than trying to process the chaos that has transpired in his first season as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

“I can’t even really get into all that,” Adams said on a Zoom call prior to the Sabres’ 16th consecutive loss, a 4-0 setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Can you blame Adams? The season from hell refuses to let ... Read the full article

Don Granato took over the Sabres last week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis enter COVID-19 protocol; Kevyn Adams to coach Sabres

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced late this afternoon. General manager Kevyn Adams will coach the team.

Granato and Ellis are self-isolating, according to the team. Adams said they’re asymptomatic. Entering COVID-19 protocol doesn’t mean the person has tested positive.

The coaches, of course, were in close contact with the players, ... Read the full article