Casey Mittelstadt has played two games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt added to COVID-related absences list

Forward Casey Mittelstadt on Sunday became the eighth Buffalo Sabres player the NHL has added to its COVID-19 protocol-related absences list.

In addition, the Sabres announced Thursday that coach Ralph Krueger, 61, had tested positive for COVID-19 and would enter the NHL’s protocol.

On Saturday, Sabres forwards Dylan Cozens and Curtis Lazar joined the COVID-19 list. Wingers Taylor Hall and Tobias Rieder and defensemen Jake McCabe, Brandon Montour and Rasmus Ristolainen were added earlier ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar has played 10 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Two more Sabres added to COVID-related absences list

The NHL on Saturday added Buffalo Sabres forwards Dylan Cozens and Curtis Lazar to its COVID-19 protocol-related absences list.

Seven Sabres players are now on the COVID-19 list. Wingers Taylor Hall and Tobias Rieder and defensemen Jake McCabe, Brandon Montour and Rasmus Ristolainen were added earlier in the week.

In addition, the Sabres announced Thursday that coach Ralph Krueger, 61, had tested positive for COVID-19 and would enter the NHL’s protocol.... Read the full article

Cody Eakin (20) tries to get up between New Jersey’s P.K. Subban and goalie Eric Comrie on Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres keep living dangerously, fall to Devils after comeback

BUFFALO – In winning three out of four games last week, the Sabres couldn’t buck some disturbing trends: they kept living dangerously, falling behind and often playing loosely.

Sooner or later, it was going to bite them.

The Sabres, at least by their standards, have enjoyed a decent start this season. Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils inside KeyBank Center dropped them to 4-4-2.

They’re just one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson skated on two lines Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jeff Skinner replaces Tage Thompson on top line

BUFFALO – After skating on the fourth line all season, Sabres winger Jeff Skinner found himself in a familiar spot with top center Jack Eichel late in Saturday afternoon’s 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils.

After Tage Thompson struggled filling in for injured winger Sam Reinhart, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger promoted Skinner to the first line for the third period at KeyBank Center.

“We just weren’t pleased with five-on-five scoring-chance production so we ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar relishes his physical role. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Curtis Lazar transformed body for gritty fourth-line role

BUFFALO – Curtis Lazar relishes playing a heavy style as the Sabres’ fourth-line center and utilizing his 6-foot frame to disrupt the opposition.

“I take a lot of pride in providing that sandpaper for our team up front and trying to create room for some of our skill guys, knowing that if guys are going to go out there, then you have to deal with me,” Lazar said on a Zoom call Wednesday.

But after ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin takes a faceoff against the New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad on Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Cody Eakin, Tobias Rieder and Sabres’ other newcomers already contributing

BUFFALO – With 33 seconds remaining Tuesday and the Sabres clinging to a one-goal lead against the New York Rangers, coach Ralph Krueger sent out center Cody Eakin to take a critical draw in his own zone.

Eakin has quickly become a trusted faceoff specialist, winning 59.4% this season. With winger Taylor Hall serving a boarding penalty and goalie Alexandar Georgiev on the bench for an extra attacker, the Sabres desperately needed the puck.

Eakin ... Read the full article

Riley Sheahan signed a one-year contract with the Sabres on Jan. 8. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Versatile Riley Sheahan fitting in well with Sabres: ‘He does everything right’

BUFFALO – The Sabres haven’t found many Riley Sheahan-types – a low-cost role player capable of providing valuable minutes and moving around the lineup – over the past decade.

Myriad factors have contributed to the Sabres’ struggles, and their inability to add depth through trades or free agency ranks near the top of the list.

But the versatile Sheahan, 29, quickly established himself after signing a professional tryout contract to attend training camp. He earned ... 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 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

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article