Not only did the Buffalo Sabres go up 2-0 when winger Jeff Skinner scored almost halfway through Monday afternoon’s third period, the Detroit Red Wings received a bench minor for their failed goalie interference challenge.
And that’s when the Sabres, who have lost an NHL-high seven games this season when leading after two periods, began to unravel.
“We just scored a goal to go up 2-0, you’re on a power play and we didn’t manage ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Of the seven defensemen the Sabres have kept all season, only two, Rasmus Dahlin and Mark Pysyk, have played more than 30 games.
Defensemen, of course, are often at a premium. The rugged nature of the position makes them susceptible to damage.
As injuries and COVID-19 cases recently mounted, Sabres coach Don Granato cobbled together a defense corps. He utilized two rookies, giving Casey Fitzgerald and Ethan Prow their first NHL action.
But ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks was just the Sabres’ fourth game in 20 days. Right now, they have six players sidelined by COVID-19 and another five out injured.
They’re rusty, having lost the rhythm of a season that rarely let up before COVID started wreaking havoc on the schedule again. And the rebuilding team was fielding one of the NHL’s weaker lineups before injuries and illness started decimating it.
The ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday, as zero Sabres entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
Henri Jokiharju, who was held out of Tuesday’s practice as the team awaited test results, skated in Wednesday’s session, giving the Sabres a full defense corps.
“It was a relief on many fronts, just even to run a better practice with six full D,” Granato said of no one entering protocol. “But … they go into ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato said dealing with COVID-19 and the chaos it creates has become “almost a new normal.” For two weeks, the virus has been ravaging the Sabres, forcing players and staff members into the NHL’s protocol and five games to be postponed.
On Tuesday, three more players – forward Anders Bjork, Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch – went into protocol. Granato said the Sabres also held defenseman Henri Jokiharju out of practice ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Make that four. In addition to forwards Peyton Krebs, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch, it appears another player, defenseman Ethan Prow, will be making his Sabres debut tonight.
Like Peterka, Prow, 29, has never played in the NHL. Ironically, Peterka and Prow were teammates last season with Red Bull Munich, a Deutsche Eishockey Liga team.
The Sabres this morning recalled Prow to the taxi squad and Casey Fitzgerald to the active roster because ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – The concern over the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases forced the NHL on Friday to postpone games involving the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers through Dec. 26.
So Wednesday’s Buffalo Sabres home game against the Avalanche has been shelved. No makeup date has been announced for the Sabres’ first COVID-related postponement this season.
The NHL on Friday also extended the Calgary Flames’ postponements through Thursday.
COVID is tearing through the NHL. The ... Read the full article
In the not-so-recent past, the Buffalo Sabres might’ve lost a game like Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the first-place Minnesota Wild.
The Sabres trailed 2-1 after two periods because Kirill Kaprizov scored a late, potentially deflating goal. They outshot the Wild 21-6 in the first yet ended the period down 1-0. And then there was the noisy crowd of 18,022 fans inside Xcel Energy Center. The Sabres, of course, have often fared poorly in hostile ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt underwent successful surgery today to repair his upper-body injury, coach Don Granato said.
Granato said the Sabres don’t have a timeline for Mittelstadt’s return. He expects the Mittelstadt, who visited a specialist Thursday, will play again this season.
Mittelstadt, 23, suffered his second upper-body injury this season about six minutes into the third period of Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. After getting injured opening night, he missed ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As expected, the struggling Sabres will change goalies tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, awarding prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen his first start this season.
Having played four games late last year, Luukkonen developed a feel of the NHL. The Finn performed well, winning his debut and posting a .906 save percentage.
“The hope is when you put him in there’s an element of relaxed to him, a comfort,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following this ... Read the full article