Casey Mittelstadt played his first NHL game since Dec. 10, 2019 on Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ralph Krueger explains why Dylan Cozens was scratched

Before the season, the Buffalo Sabres developed a plan to rest some of their younger players. In occasionally giving them a breather, they want to prevent the physical and mental aspects of the NHL from overwhelming them. They also want to ensure members of their taxi squad have opportunities to play.

So on Sunday afternoon, two days after winger Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal, the Sabres loaned the rookie to the taxi ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel sported a blue Josh Allen Bills jersey when the Sabres flew to Washington. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres honor Bills by wearing apparel on flight to Washington

Before the Sabres departed Buffalo on Thursday for their two-road trip to Washington, the team’s social media accounts posted images of coach Ralph Krueger and his players sporting Bills apparel as they walked to the plane.

While most of them were wearing hats, Sabres captain Jack Eichel donned a No. 17 blue jersey of Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

The Bills, of course, play in the AFC Champion Game on Sunday against the Chiefs in Kansas ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar scored twice Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar, fourth line help Sabres annihilate Flyers, earn first win

Late in the first period Monday, Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar grabbed the puck at the blue line, skated into the left circle and backhanded a shot underneath the crossbar.

Then after the Sabres grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Flyers, Lazar sealed the Sabres’ first win in the second period, connecting on a nifty pass from linemate Riley Sheahan in front of the net.

When the Sabres, NHL lightweights for nearly a ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skated this morning. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart to be game-time decision against Flyers

Buffalo Sabres winger Sam Reinhart is questionable for tonight’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers with the lower-body injury, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Reinhart skated this morning beside top center Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall inside Wells Fargo Center, according to The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski, a sign he could play.

If Reinhart can’t play, Krueger said Casey Mittelstadt, who’s on the taxi squad, would replace him.

Reinhart was injured in a collision behind ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart winces in pain after getting injured Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sam Reinhart misses practice with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Sam Reinhart, who briefly left Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, is day to day with a lower-body injury, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Reinhart did not practice Sunday but accompanied the Sabres to Philadelphia, where they begin a two-game series Monday against the Flyers.

Krueger said Reinhart’s injury, which he suffered in a collision behind the net, “appears to be manageable.”

“We will do a pregame skate again tomorrow ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart skates in front of Washington goalie Vitek Vanecek on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres outplay Capitals, can’t exploit rookie goalie: ‘We made him look good’

BUFFALO – A night after the Sabres looked like they hadn’t played a game in 10 months, they settled down defensively, generated offense and outplayed the Washington Capitals.

Of course, it did not result in a win for the Sabres, who couldn’t exploit Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek in his NHL debut.

“I think we made him look good,” defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen said on a Zoom call after Friday’s 2-1 loss at KeyBank Center dropped the ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall scored early in his Sabres debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres look rusty early, fall to Capitals in season opener after late comeback

BUFFALO – If Thursday’s disjointed performance against the Washington Capitals turns out to be a harbinger, the Sabres could be in for another long season.

In their highly anticipated season opener, the Sabres, who had six new faces in the lineup, looked like the same old team, losing 6-4 inside KeyBank Center.

If fans had been allowed to attend the game, you can bet they would’ve voiced their frustration a few times.

After a 10-month ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Eric Staal to center their second line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal leaves loss to Capitals after hit to jaw

BUFFALO – Sabres center Eric Staal left Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss to the Washington Capitals after Nic Dowd elbowed him in the jaw.

Coach Ralph Krueger had no update following the game on Staal, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 16 to center the second line.

“I saw what you saw,” Krueger said on a Zoom call. “We’re just assessing him. It’s one of those where it’s definitely in a day-to-day status ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton enjoyed a terrific training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton earns opening night start

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger’s decision to award goalie Carter Hutton the opening night start against the Washington Capitals wasn’t surprising.

Yes, Hutton, 35, struggled most of last season, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. But his turnaround started at the end of 2019-20, when enjoyed a 6-2-0 run in February.

Hutton performed strongly throughout training camp this year, quickly morphing into one of the Sabres’ standouts. Meanwhile, goalie Linus Ullmark missed the ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has earned a spot on Buffalo’s No. 1 line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson showcasing talents of future star after long layoff

BUFFALO – Taylor Hall knew nothing about Tage Thompson before the first day they practiced together as Sabres teammates Jan. 1.

But right away, Hall said he was taken aback by watching the 6-foot-7 winger up close.

The size. The ability to handle and shoot the puck. The speed.

Hall quickly learned why Thompson, 23, is such an intriguing talent.

“You see why he was drafted in the first round and why they’re so high ... Read the full article