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

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

Don Granato knows he must help his current group of players grow together. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Don Granato wants to create stability by limiting lineup changes

BUFFALO – Through the first 18 games this season, Sabres coach Don Granato has exercised patience rarely seen in these parts over the last decade, often fielding the same lineup while keeping his forward lines and defense pairs intact.

Granato, whose Sabres were 2-7-1 in their last 10 games entering Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center, said he understands the reflex is to “change everything” when a team battles adversity.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has missed the last 13 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt progressing from injury; Victor Olofsson still hurt

BUFFALO – Center Casey Mittelstadt is the closest of the four injured Sabres to returning to game action, coach Don Granato said.

Mittelstadt, 22, has missed the last 13 contests recovering from an upper-body injury he suffered Oct. 14, opening night.

“With Mittsy, it’s still progressing, which is good news,” Granato said following this morning’s practice inside KeyBank Center. “That might mean it’s less than a couple weeks or around there (until he returns) if ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored at the net again Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Arttu Ruotsalainen developing into different type of scoring threat

BUFFALO – In trying to evolve and score more goals, Sabres center Arttu Ruotsalainen has embraced a saying from his native Finland.

Ruotsalainen, 24, understands he can’t simply rely on his lethal shot from the perimeter. What worked in Europe and during his brief stint in the AHL won’t translate to success in the NHL.

To consistently score, the 5-foot-9, 187-pound rookie knows he must go to the net and battle for “dirty goals.”

“We ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin has missed the last three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Cody Eakin, Casey Mittelstadt nearing return from injuries

BUFFALO – Center Cody Eakin accompanied the Sabres on their four-game road trip but will likely miss tonight’s contest against the Anaheim Ducks, coach Don Granato said.

Granato expects Eakin, who suffered an upper-body injury when he crashed into the net during a practice drill last Wednesday, to play later in the trip.

Eakin, 30, has missed the last three games. Granato said Eakin will be reevaluated after tonight’s game. The Sabres also play Sunday ... Read the full article

Brett Murray played for Rochester on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres recall Brett Murray from Amerks

The Buffalo Sabres this afternoon recalled winger Brett Murray from the Rochester Americans.

Having lost centers Cody Eakin and Casey Mittelstadt to injuries, the Sabres did not have an extra forward on the roster before summoning Murray.

The Sabres play a road game tonight against the New Jersey Devils.

The 6-foot-5, 228-pound Murray, 23, played his first two NHL games late last season. He earned a long look from the Sabres during training camp and ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin has recorded two points this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Cody Eakin leaves practice after crashing into net

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin was being evaluated this afternoon after crashing into the net during a practice drill.

Eakin, 30, skated to the bench on his own before leaving for the dressing room.

The Sabres are already thin at center, having lost Casey Mittelstadt to an upper-body injury in the season opener. If Eakin can’t play Friday against the Boston Bruins, the Sabres could be forced to recall a center from the Rochester ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin led Buffalo in ice time Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato wants to spread around ice time: ‘It’s a necessity’

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato doesn’t see a large talent gap in the 20 players he dresses each game. A first-line forward or top-pair defenseman isn’t much better than a fourth-liner or third-pair defender.

“We don’t have any wide range in discrepancy in our player pool,” Granato said prior to Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center.

So Granato utilized every skater throughout the first two games this season, ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin scores his second-period goal Saturday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres win again, starting to establish identity: ‘We are harder to play against’

BUFFALO – Forget about the Sabres’ 2-0 record. Any NHL team can win two consecutive games, especially at home.

The identity the Sabres have started to establish within those games under coach Don Granato is the important part. So far, they’re playing an up-tempo, tenacious brand of hockey.

It proves those victories could be a harbinger.

“We are harder to play against,” Sabres center Cody Eakin said after scoring a power-play goal in Saturday afternoon’s ... Read the full article