Mattias Samuelsson was recalled Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson looks impressive in NHL debut

BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.

They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.

But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen missed Wednesday’s game in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen could make NHL debut this weekend

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s highly anticipated NHL debut could take place this weekend, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said.

The Sabres have become woefully thin in net, losing Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton to injuries after trading Jonas Johansson.

If Luukkonen hadn’t suffered a lower-body injury with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres likely would’ve recalled him before Thursday’s 5-2 road win over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Center. The Finn missed ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski enjoyed an impressive relief performance Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goaltending becomes concern again for Sabres

A lower-body injury will force Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to miss tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals, meaning Dustin Tokarski will receive his fifth start this season.

Taxi-squad goalie Michael Houser, who has never played an NHL game, will back up Tokarski. Houser, 28, hasn’t played a contest at any level in more than 13 months.

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen would be the only available recall, but Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert... 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

Curtis Lazar is Buffalo’s latest center to get injured. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar’s lower-body injury makes Sabres woefully thin at center

Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar suffered a lower-body injury in Wednesday’s 6-1 win over and the Philadelphia Flyers and is week to week, interim coach Don Granato said.

The Sabres, who host the New York Rangers tonight at KeyBank Center, have become woefully thin down the middle. In addition to Lazar, three other centers – Jack Eichel, Dylan Cozens and Eric Staal – have been injured or traded in the last month.

Granato said he ... 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

Dylan Cozens has become a key contributor to Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens leaves game against Flyers injured

BUFFALO – Buffalo Sabres rookie center Dylan Cozens suffered what appeared to be a left arm injury and will not return to tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Cozens departed after Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers checked him into the left boards deep in the Philadelphia zone 11:43 into the game.

Riley Sheahan replaced Cozens between Victor Olofsson and Sam Reinhart.... Read the full article

Eric Staal can become an unrestricted free agent following the season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After trading Eric Staal, Sabres know more moves coming: ‘Nobody’s naive’

Winger Kyle Okposo knows center Eric Staal was likely only the first of several veteran teammates who will be leaving the hapless Buffalo Sabres over the next few weeks.

The Sabres, having lost 16 straight entering this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, are broken and on pace to be historically bad. The NHL’s laughingstock needs a massive overhaul, so anyone could be in play before the April 12 trade deadline.

“I mean, nobody’s ... 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