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

Kevyn Adams has been active on the waiver wire. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres add new defenseman, claim Christian Wolanin off waivers

BUFFALO – The Sabres added depth to their defense corps today, claiming Christian Wolanin off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings.

The move comes a day after the Sabres announced they will be without defenseman Henri Jokiharju for at least two weeks after he suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 5-1 season-opening win over the Montreal Canadiens.

With Jokiharju injured, the Sabres had only six defensemen on the roster before claiming Wolanin.

To make room ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson moved to center earlier this month. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens growing into roles as Sabres’ top centers

BUFFALO – Having coached Tage Thompson in junior, Don Granato learned years ago how much the Sabres’ newest center loves to be challenged.

“He’s bored if you don’t challenge him,” Granato said following Friday’s practice inside KeyBank Center. “I mean, he just likes to be pushed, he wants to be pushed.”

So earlier this month, Granato shifted Thompson from right wing to center, a more demanding position. Thompson, 23, grew up playing center and stayed ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt began the season as Buffalo’s No. 1 center. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Casey Mittelstadt, Henri Jokiharju to injuries: ‘Not short-term’

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ opening night 5-1 opening-night win proved to be costly. Top center Casey Mittelstadt and first-pair defenseman Henri Jokiharju will both be sidelined at least two weeks after suffering injuries, coach Don Granato said.

Mittelstadt suffered an upper-body injury when Brendan Gallagher hectored him after he intercepted a pass halfway through Thursday’s game. After going to the dressing room, Mittelstadt briefly returned to the bench before leaving the contest.

Granato said Jokiharju ... Read the full article

Johan Larsson (22) battles New Jersey’s Miles Wood last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Johan Larsson had little dialogue with Sabres before leaving for Coyotes

If Jason Botterill hadn’t been fired as general manager, then perhaps center Johan Larsson would’ve returned to the Buffalo Sabres.

Larsson, 28, just enjoyed arguably his best NHL season, becoming one of coach Ralph Krueger’s trusted forwards. The checking line the Swede pivoted between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo quickly solidified itself as the Sabres’ steadiest combination. Krueger kept the trio intact nearly all season.

It appeared Larsson, who signed a two-year contract with ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has been one of the NHL’s top rookies all season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Victor Olofsson leaves loss to Coyotes with undisclosed injury

Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson left Saturday’s 5-2 road loss to the Arizona Coyotes after suffering an undisclosed injury in the second period.

Coach Ralph Krueger did not have an update on Olofsson, one of the NHL’s top rookies, following the Sabres’ third straight loss.

Krueger said the team will know more about the Swede’s injury today.

“We’ll evaluate exactly what the situation is,” Krueger told reporters in Arizona. “It was definitely a disappointing ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) fends off Arizona’s Christian Fischer on Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Despite loss to Coyotes, Sabres finish October in NHL’s top spot

BUFFALO – Jack Eichel’s 23rd birthday started off splendidly, with the Sabres captain scoring a power-play goal just minutes in Monday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes.

When winger Jeff Skinner made 2-0 later in the first period, it seemed like the Sabres could cruise to their sixth straight home win to open the season.

But the Sabres, the NHL’s biggest early-season surprise, have an alarming penchant for squandering two-goals leads.

It happened Monday ... Read the full article

John Gilmour made his season debut Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: John Gilmour seizes early chance after waiting 11 games

BUFFALO – John Gilmour had never waited so long to play a game. After appearing in the Sabres’ preseason finale Sept. 27, the defenseman sat out 11 contests before making his season debut Friday.

So Gilmour, the Sabres’ spare defender, patiently waited 28 days for his opportunity to materialize as the blue line remained healthy.

Gilmour, of course, acknowledged being a healthy scratch can be difficult. But he still reveled in the Sabres’ early-season success.... Read the full article

Carter Hutton will start his eighth game tonight. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ goalie rotation has helped boost early-season success

BUFFALO – After watching Linus Ullmark’s 41-save shutout Friday, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton will start again tonight, his eighth nod this season.

Thanks to their two-game trip to Sweden next week, the Sabres’ schedule is jam-packed.

So through 12 games, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger has mostly rotated the netminders, trying to balance their workload. Krueger even sticks to the goalie plan he and assistant coach Mike Bales have devised following shutouts.

“It’s something that ... Read the full article

Buffalo and the Sabres are close to Phil Housley’s heart. ©2019, Hickling Images

Phil Housley happy for Sabres’ success, doesn’t want to dwell on past

BUFFALO – After the Sabres fired Phil Housley on April 7, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to coach again.

Housley’s dismissal after two losing seasons hit him hard. The Sabres, a team he starred for in the 1980s, and Buffalo are close to his heart.

The Hall of Fame defenseman desperately wanted to lead the Sabres back to glory.

“It’s funny, because you sort of think of what you could’ve done differently,” Housley said ... Read the full article