Michael Houser won his first two NHL games before Thursday’s blowout loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres don’t help Michael Houser, get throttled by Penguins: ‘We owe him’

Almost eight minutes into Thursday’s second period, after the Penguins scored twice in a minute and grabbed a two-goal lead, it became apparent Sabres goalie Michael Houser wouldn’t enjoy a warm homecoming in Pittsburgh.

After winning his first two NHL games in Buffalo, Houser, 28, became the league’s feel-good story. A victory before about 20 family members and friends watching inside PPG Paints Arena would’ve made the most incredible week of his career even more ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Brett Murray in 2016. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Brett Murray thrilled to make NHL debut: ‘At a loss for words’

Buffalo Sabres rookie Brett Murray experienced an unconventional path to the NHL, moving backwards before taking small steps forward.

Three years ago, Murray, who made his NHL debut in Thursday’s 8-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, left Penn State and returned to junior. Before last season, after making a stronger commitment to his conditioning, he received an AHL contract.

Murray, a fourth-round pick in 2016, 99th overall, parlayed a solid rookie campaign with the ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiulla has started finding a groove in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Drake Caggiula excited for opportunity with Sabres, moving up lineup

Having played for four teams in three seasons, Buffalo Sabres winger Drake Caggiula understands how fleeting opportunities can be in the NHL.

Caggiula, a prized college free agent in 2016, has bounced around since the Edmonton Oilers traded him in December 2018, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes before the Sabres claimed him off waivers April 9.

The North Dakota product lasted only 27 games with the Coyotes after signing a one-year contract.... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson believes Buffalo played better than Thursday’s 5-2 loss indicates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres started winning, showcased rapid improvement in April

A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.

Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.

Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has two career NHL fights. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens wants to use fights as tool to ignite own game

Over the past couple of games, Buffalo Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens said he has been battling the puck and unable to find any rhythm.

So when an opportunity materialized late in Tuesday’s 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers to stick up for a teammate and fight Kevin Rooney after he boarded Drake Caggiula, Cozens pounced on it.

“The hit didn’t look too good and I wasn’t too happy with my own play ... 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

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

Buffalo invited Drake Caggulia to its development camp in 2014. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres, coach Don Granato offer Drake Caggiula fresh opportunity, comfort

When forward Drake Caggiula visited NHL teams as a free agent in 2016, he said he felt some loyalty to the Buffalo Sabres.

Two years earlier, the Sabres had given the undrafted Caggiula a chance to attend their summer development camp following his sophomore season at North Dakota.

“They gave me my first opportunity,” said Caggiula, who was claimed on waivers Friday by the Sabres.

Caggiula, 26, nearly chose the Sabres five years ago – ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiula attended Buffalo’s development camp in 2014. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres add new player, claim Drake Caggiula off waivers from Coyotes

BUFFALO – In 2014, following forward Drake Caggiula’s sophomore season at North Dakota, he attended the Sabres’ summer development camp, scoring two goals in the annual scrimmage.

Two years later, after Caggiula won a national championship and earned NCAA Tournament MVP honors, the Sabres pursued him as a free agent before he chose the Edmonton Oilers.

This afternoon, Caggiula joined the Sabres after they claimed him on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.

The 5-foot-10, 176-pound ... Read the full article