Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (pictured) will back up Dustin Tokarski again tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to start Friday; Sabres to make lineup change

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will start his first NHL game Friday against the Boston Bruins, coach Don Granato said this morning.

Dustin Tokarski will play tonight versus the Bruins at KeyBank Center, giving Luukkonen, 22, another opportunity to watch a game from the bench as a backup.

The Finn dressed for his first NHL contest Tuesday, a 2-0 loss to the Bruins.

“It’s better for UPL to see one more night,” Granato ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has spent this season developing in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen thrilled for first opportunity with Sabres

BUFFALO – Not since Ryan Miller arrived here in 2002 has a goaltender’s debut been so highly anticipated. After less than two seasons in the minors, top Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is verge of starting his first NHL game.

Luukkonen, of course, likely won’t stick in the big leagues for long. Most goalies take years to mature, and the Finn, 22, has only played 25 AHL games.

Just look at Miller, the Sabres’ all-time ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens had a terrific chance to tie Tuesday’s game early. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Bruins show Sabres how they must compete: ‘We need to elevate’

BUFFALO – Just over 13 minutes into Tuesday’s 2-0 loss, Sabres winger Dylan Cozens grabbed a pass at the bottom of the right circle with goalie Tuukka Rask seemingly out of position to stop the puck.

But a desperate Rask recovered enough to get his glove, which was behind his back, on the puck to stop it. The save, perhaps one of the NHL’s best this season, kept the Boston Bruins up 1-0.

“It was ... Read the full article

Will Borgen was injured Feb. 20. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Will Borgen nearing return, close to becoming NHL regular

BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Will Borgen blocked a shot with his right forearm Feb. 20 in New Jersey, he had no idea it had been fractured.

“They just kind of stitched it up because it was bleeding a little bit,” Borgen said on a Zoom call prior to Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. “I didn’t have an excuse to not play at the time.”

So Borgen, 24, finished the Sabres’ 3-2 win ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played 14 games for Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen ready for chance in NHL

BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s last six outings, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said.

Yes, Luukkonen, 22, has looked sloppy at times since the Amerks’ COVID-19 pause ended late last month, compiling a 2-3-1 record and an awful .863 save percentage.

But a lot of players struggle after being forced to sit idle. Luukkonen did not play for three weeks.

Appert believes Luukkonen’s early-season exploits and the strong habits he has developed illustrate ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin loved playing in Tuesday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin responds to challenge of playing heavy Bruins

In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.

“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.

Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork spent his entire career in Boston’s organization before Monday’s trade. ©2021, Providence Bruins

Anders Bjork excited for opportunity with Sabres: ‘A fresh start for me’

Four seasons into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork said he is still trying to establish an identity.

Two shoulder surgeries and a brutal concussion stymied the 6-foot, 197-pound winger’s development with the Boston Bruins. This year, he fell out of the lineup, becoming a healthy scratch.

So when the Bruins traded Bjork, 24, to the Sabres on Monday in the Taylor Hall deal, he welcomed a change of scenery.

“I was ... Read the full article

Don Granato has quickly made an impact on the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams: Don Granato ‘absolutely … in the mix’ for Sabres’ coaching job

Even before Don Granato started winning games and unlocking talent from struggling players, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he wanted the interim coach to be in the mix when he began pursuing a regular coach.

“From the beginning, I always thought that Donnie should be part of this conversation regardless of what happens exactly on the wins and losses of our team,” Adams said on a Zoom call Tuesday after the trade deadline.... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract in the offseason. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar shocked by trade to Bruins after rebuilding career with Sabres

Ex-Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract prior to the season and quickly solidified a regular spot in the lineup, so he wasn’t expecting to be traded before this afternoon’s deadline.

“Yeah, it completely caught me off guard,” said Lazar, who was dealt to the Boston Bruins earlier today with winger Taylor Hall in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in 2021.

At 11 p.m. Sunday, Lazar, 26, said he ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall has a no-movement clause in his contract. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Taylor Hall grateful for trade, wanted to join Bruins for long time

In October, before winger Taylor Hall signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres, he said he was “really close” to joining the Boston Bruins as a free agent.

“I was ready to be a Bruin and just some other things kind of didn’t work out,” Hall said on a Zoom call Monday morning hours after being traded to the Bruins. “But it was not like any hard feelings or anything like ... Read the full article