Kyle Okposo moves around Mitch Marner (12) and Michael Bunting (58) on April 12 in Toronto. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo enjoying terrific comeback season, at forefront of Sabres’ revival

BUFFALO – On Wednesday, the Sabres, a team two days away from finishing its season, had a group of players on the KeyBank Center ice 25 minutes before their final practice started.

To veteran winger Kyle Okposo, 34, the Sabres’ oldest and most experienced player, that speaks volumes about the group’s passion. The Sabres will miss the playoffs for a record-setting 11th straight year, yet no one seems to want the season to end.... Read the full article

Peyton Krebs’ assist Saturday was his first point with Buffalo. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Peyton Krebs’ nifty assist creates Alex Tuch’s first goal with Sabres

Having previously played with Peyton Krebs, winger Alex Tuch said he knew a pass was coming before the center’s nifty no-look backhand created his first goal with the Sabres.

“I’m not really surprised that he did that,” Tuch said on a Zoom call following Saturday’s afternoon’s 4-3 overtime loss at TD Garden in Boston. “I saw it coming the whole way.”

Tuch, however, might’ve been the only one in the building who thought Krebs ... Read the full article

Don Granato caught a flight to Boston on Saturday morning. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato leaves NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, travels to Boston

Don Granato’s Saturday began in the predawn hours in Buffalo. The coach knew he was close to clearing the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. So receiving good test results meant he join the Sabres in Boston for their matinee.

“I was waiting literally minute by minute in hopes of being here,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Bruins at TD Garden.

When Granato received clearance, he hopped on ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed two games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato, two players return from NHL’s COVID-19 protocol

Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato has left the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will be behind the bench for this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins.

In addition, wingers Vinnie Hinostroza and Jeff Skinner will return to the lineup after leaving protocol Friday and practicing.

Granato, who missed two games after testing positive Sunday, said he feels “really good.”

... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Dec. 21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Sabres’ Vinnie Hinostroza, Jeff Skinner leave COVID-19 protocol

Sabres wingers Vinnie Hinostroza and Jeff Skinner have left the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and could play in this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, according to The Buffalo News.

Hinostroza, 27, and Skinner, 29, practiced with the Sabres on Friday in Boston.

“Both will be available, if that’s the direction we decide,” assistant Matt Ellis, who’s subbing for head coach Don Granato, told the paper.

... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has missed the last 18 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Early-season upper-body injury difficult for Casey Mittelstadt

BUFFALO – After a six-week absence, center Casey Mittelstadt joined his teammates Wednesday morning, donning a gold non-contact jersey and skating with the Sabres as they prepared for their game against the Boston Bruins.

Now, when will Mittelstadt, who suffered an upper-body injury opening night, be able to play again? Wednesday’s game was the 18th straight he has missed.

The Sabres also play Friday, Saturday and Monday. Practice time is limited. They’re scheduled to have ... Read the full article

Aaron Dell also started Sunday and relieved Dustin Tokarski on Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Aaron Dell to start for slumping Dustin Tokarski

BUFFALO – In his last two starts, Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski has compiled an 8.66 goals-against average and a .743 save percentage in just under 61 minutes.

Sabres coach Don Granato, of course, yanked him from both games.

In the first outing, Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, Tokarski received little help, often getting abandoned by his teammates. But in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tokarski wasn’t his normal self, allowing ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt hasn’t played since opening night. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt joins Sabres on ice, finally close return: ‘A huge step’

BUFFALO – After a 17-game absence, center Casey Mittelstadt joined his teammates this morning, donning a gold non-contact jersey and skating with the Sabres as they prepared for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.

Now, when will Mittelstadt, who suffered an upper-body injury opening night, be able to play again? He won’t return tonight.

The Sabres also play Friday, Saturday and Monday. Practice time is limited. They’re scheduled to have Thursday off.

“We haven’t really ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens (24) stations himself in front of Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dylan Cozens, Sabres’ other top young players ‘starting to feel the progress’

BUFFALO – Early in Monday’s 7-4 loss, Max Domi adroitly slid the puck between Dylan Cozens’ legs to himself and quickly fed Jack Roslovic. A second later, the Columbus Blue Jackets grabbed their first lead over the Sabres.

After Domi torched him inside his own blue line, Cozens, the Sabres’ second-year center, felt obligated to make amends.

“That’s on me so I felt like I needed to try and make it up,” Cozens said ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark looked sharp in his Boston debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t convert early chances, lose to Bruins: ‘Could’ve won that game’

BUFFALO – In jumping out to their best start in 13 years, the Sabres feasted on some weak teams. Yes, they deserved their 3-0 record. But they hadn’t faced an opponent the caliber of the heavyweight Boston Bruins.

The Sabres stumbled in their first significant test, falling 4-1 on Friday to old friend Linus Ullmark and the Bruins before a crowd of 7,820 fans inside KeyBank Center.

Still, they pounced on the Bruins early, outshooting ... Read the full article