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

Jack Eichel celebrates his goal Tuesday with Sam Reinhart (23) and Taylor Hall. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jack Eichel’s first goal, special teams help Sabres beat Rangers, reach .500

BUFFALO – The biggest anomalies on the Sabres’ stat sheet through their first six games were the zeros attached to captain Jack Eichel’s name.

Despite pumping 23 shots on net, Eichel remained goalless entering Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center.

Not surprisingly, Eichel remained highly productive during that stretch, recording a team-high seven assists. He also scored the shootout winner Sunday afternoon.

The ultra-talented center, of course, wasn’t going to ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton missed two games after getting hit in the head. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Carter Hutton practices, says ‘stubbornness’ made him stay in game

BUFFALO – When Ivan Provorov hit Carter Hutton in the head Jan. 19 in Philadelphia, the Sabres goalie said he felt the effects of it right away.

Still, Hutton stayed in the game. Stubbornness, he said, took over.

“I’m competitive and I want to play,” Hutton said on a Zoom call this morning. “I kept communicating with (head athletic trainer Rich Stinziano), but I definitely didn’t put him in an easy spot, too, because I ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark settled down Sunday afternoon to help the Sabres win. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Linus Ullmark earns emotional win, helps Sabres beat Capitals

A look of relief washed over Linus Ullmark’s face after he stymied Nicklas Backstrom’s shootout attempt, securing the Buffalo Sabres’ 4-3 shootout victory Sunday afternoon.

Ullmark, 27, skated out from his crease, tilted his head back and closed his eyes. The much-needed win, just the Sabres’ second this season, capped an emotional week for the goalie, whose father passed away last week.

“It’s been rough, definitely,” Ullmark said on a Zoom call following his ... Read the full article

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

Dylan Cozens has quickly become one of the Sabres’ standouts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens scores pretty first goal in loss; Rasmus Dahlin benched

It ranks as one of the prettiest first goals scored by a Buffalo Sabres rookie in recent memory. Not only did winger Dylan Cozens unleash a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, he created his own goal by stripping the puck from Brian Pinho at center ice.

When Cozens, 19, scored 10:23 into second period, tying Friday’s game at 2, it appeared the Sabres had seized the momentum from the depleted Washington Capitals.

“It ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton left Tuesday’s game after 40 minutes. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose game to Flyers, goalie Carter Hutton to injury

Shortly after Ivan Provorov collided with Carter Hutton during the second period Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stymied James van Riemsdyk’s point-blank opportunity.

Despite taking a hit to the head from Provorov, who was checked into the crease by Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour, Hutton stayed in the game and remained sharp.

But when Hutton returned to the dressing room following the period, he started feeling the effects of the hit, so third-string goalie Jonas Johansson... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has looked comfortable with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens earns fast promotion to Eric Staal’s line

BUFFALO – Seventeen years ago, Sabres center Eric Staal lived what Dylan Cozens, his new linemate, is experiencing right now as a teenage rookie.

“It’s scary to think I was him back in the day,” Staal said on Zoom call after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Time goes fast.”

In 2003-04, Staal, now 36, was a neophyte learning the rigors of NHL life. To boost his development, 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

Eric Staal left Thursday’s game after taking an elbow to the jaw. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal to be game-time decision against Capitals

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal, who left Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals after getting elbowed in the jaw, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s rematch, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Update: Staal will play tonight.

If Staal can’t play, Kruger said newcomer Riley Sheahan will be moved to center. Sheahan played right wing beside center Curtis Lazar and Jeff Skinner in the season opener.

“We’ve got a backup plan,” Krueger said on a ... Read the full article