Will Borgen was injured Feb. 20. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Will Borgen nearing return, close to becoming NHL regular

BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Will Borgen blocked a shot with his right forearm Feb. 20 in New Jersey, he had no idea it had been fractured.

“They just kind of stitched it up because it was bleeding a little bit,” Borgen said on a Zoom call this morning after skating with his teammates. “I didn’t have an excuse to not play at the time.”

So Borgen, 24, finished the Sabres’ 3-2 win against the ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has become Buffalo’s top offensive threat. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt, Sabres’ other young players growing under Don Granato

BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.

Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

All three players are 23 or under and spent ... 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

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has moved up the depth chart this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt’s development earns him gig as Sabres’ top center

BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.

Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.

Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin looked dejected Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres blow three-goal lead, lose in OT to Flyers: ‘This … is embarrassing’

BUFFALO – After 34 days, more than 1,000 minutes of hockey and one coaching change, it appeared the Sabres would finally halt their winless skid Monday.

Instead, they suffered the most gut-wrenching loss of their 18-game streak, blowing a 3-0 third-period lead and falling to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime inside KeyBank Center.

Good grief. What happened late? How did the Sabres suddenly start chasing the game after dominating it for 40 minutes?

“Panic ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has had two stints on the taxi squad this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres recall Henri Jokiharju from taxi squad, make other moves

The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Henri Jokiharju, who had sat out five out the last six games, from the taxi squad prior to Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres also summoned defenseman Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad and sent rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson and center Rasmus Asplund back to the practice group.

Jokiharju, 21, established himself as one of the Sabres’ steadiest defensemen last season while playing all ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen has handled a heavy workload after recovering from COVID-19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres have no plans to rest Rasmus Ristolainen: ‘He’s such a competitor’

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen’s harrowing battle with COVID-19 left him so weak he struggled to walk up the stairs in his home. The Sabres defenseman did not play for 27 days and missed seven games.

But since Ristolainen returned to the lineup Feb. 27, he has played all 10 contests, averaging 21 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time in the first nine entering Monday’s 6-0 loss to the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Have the ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin has scored just one goal this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup changes, scratch Cody Eakin

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin, who has scored just one goal in 26 games this season, an empty-netter, will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Rasmus Asplund, who hasn’t played since Feb. 25, will replace Eakin between Tobias Rieder and Kyle Okposo.

Eakin’s penalty-killing prowess has helped the Sabres improve from 30th last season to fifth this year. His 57.5 faceoff percentage ranks first among Sabres who have taken at ... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo has scored zero goals this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Kyle Okposo knows he must start scoring: ‘A results-based business’

Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo knows he can’t take much solace in feeling he played a good game. Through 15 outings this year, the veteran has scored zero goals.

“This is a results-based business, and I understand that playing good gets you nowhere in this industry if the results aren’t there,” a frustrated Okposo said on a Zoom call following Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New York Rangers.

Okposo, 32, nearly scored his first ... Read the full article