Casey Mittelstadt has scored four goals this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt scores goal, ends long slump: ‘It’s not easy’

BUFFALO – Like most elite prospects, Casey Mittelstadt was a dynamic scorer in junior and college. So struggling for weeks sometimes in the NHL has been a new experience for the Sabres winger.

“It’s not easy, I’m not going to lie,” Mittelstadt said after scoring in Friday afternoon’s 6-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center, his first goal in 17 games. “But at the same time, I’ve scored pretty much my whole ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund has played seven NHL games. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund quickly acclimating to NHL

BUFFALO – In the second period Wednesday, Sabres rookie Rasmus Asplund grabbed a loose puck in the right corner, spun off a defender in the circle and quickly cut to the net.

Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson hectored the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Asplund in the slot, but he fended him off before creating a prime scoring chance goalie David Rittich stymied.

Asplund’s seventh NHL game, a 3-2 overtime loss, was perhaps his best performance since the ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger is in his first season coaching the Sabres. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Ralph Krueger, Canadiens’ Claude Julien share mutual respect

BUFFALO – Six years ago, Ralph Krueger’s job as a consultant for Team Canada’s Olympic entry at the Sochi Games offered the Sabres coach a chance to discuss hockey with some the game’s greatest minds.

Mike Babcock, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien and former Sabres coach Lindy Ruff all served on Canada’s coaching staff.

“It was the best hockey coaching symposium you could go through with that group because of the way everybody exchanged everything,” Krueger ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis has scored four goals this season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Ex-Sabres star Tyler Ennis embracing new role with Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Instead of being relied upon to produce offense, ex-Sabres winger Tyler Ennis is now a fourth-liner.

Sure, Ennis, 29, skates on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ second power-play unit. The former first-round pick even started the season on the No. 1 line beside center Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau.

But Ennis is no longer the ultra-slick presence from his early days. The concussions he suffered in his final seasons with the Sabres helped stymie ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary has missed four games. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Conor Sheary to return against Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Suddenly, the Sabres have a three-game losing streak. Sure, they lost three road contests by one goal. It should also be noted the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators, the NHL’s top two clubs points-wise, beat them.

So the Sabres’ 0-2-1 run – they earned a point in Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers – isn’t a normal losing skid.

Still, the Sabres, who have another stiff test tonight against the ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark looked sharp as Friday's game progressed. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode early, rally in loss to Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Following a three-year AHL apprenticeship, the Sabres expect goalie Linus Ullmark to play around 30 games this season as their new backup.

So watching the Maple Leafs score on their first two shots and three of their first eight in the opening 3:42 of Friday’s preseason tilt had to be concerning.

Then Ullmark, 25, settled down nicely after the Sabres, who opened the scoring 30 seconds in, fell behind 3-1. Over the final ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin's rookie season is over. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres upset NHL didn’t suspend Scott Hartnell for hit

TORONTO – A seething Phil Housley paused before answering the question. The Buffalo Sabres coach clearly wanted to choose his words carefully while still expressing his anger over the NHL’s decision not to suspended Scott Hartnell.

In Saturday’s 7-4 win in Nashville, the Predators forward hit Sabres defenseman Victor Antipin from behind, knocking his head into the glass. The rookie was probably out cold before his body hit the ice.

Antipin will miss the ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scores on Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen on Feb. 11, 2017 in Toronto. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres finally renew long rivalry with Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – When the NHL scheduled the only four tilts between the Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs over a 28-day late-season stretch, the league likely envisioned the fierce rivals would be battling for playoff spots or positioning.

Sixty-six games into another lost season, the last-place Sabres finally play the Leafs tonight at KeyBank Center, their first meeting since April 3, 2017.

The Sabres, of course, are playing for pride. The Leafs, meanwhile, are firmly ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues grew up cheering for the Maple Leafs. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Toronto debut special for Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues

TORONTO – Growing up in Etobicoke, about a 20-minute drive from the Air Canada Centre, Alexander Mogilny’s talents mesmerized Buffalo Sabres rookie Evan Rodrigues.

By the early 2000s, long after his dynamic 76-goal season with the Sabres in 1992-93, Mogilny was still an electrifying presence for some strong Maple Leafs teams.

“He was always trying something new,” Rodrigues said Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 3-1 win against the Leafs. “He always made some real ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel (right) has 10 goals and 17 points in 22 games this season. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Jack Eichel, Leafs’ Auston Matthews meet with Toronto surging

TORONTO – The Maple Leafs, like the Buffalo Sabres of a year ago, had to improve this season because 30th place was no longer their target.

After bottoming out on purpose, the Leafs added first overall pick Auston Matthews to their large stable of young talent. They also have Mike Babcock, arguably the NHL’s best coach.

Few, however, expected the upstart Leafs would be this good this soon. Right now, having won eight of the ... Read the full article