Devon Levi tries to stop a shot Thursday with Calgary’s Adam Ruzicka in front of him. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres keep rallying, fall short in sloppy loss to Flames: ‘Wanted an easier game’

BUFFALO – Scoring goals won’t be a problem for the Sabres this season, veteran defenseman Erik Johnson said. It’s preventing them that worries him.

“Until we have a commitment to team defense we won’t accomplish much,” Johnson said following Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames.

To wit: with the game knotted at 2 late in the second period, the disjointed Sabres allowed a breakaway and an odd-man rush. They escaped the period tied, but ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson played two seasons in Buffalo. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres bring back former goalie Craig Anderson as ‘hockey liaison’

BUFFALO – In the first season following his retirement, former Sabres goalie Craig Anderson has occasionally dropped in and visited his old teammates.

It turns out he wasn’t just saying hello.

The Sabres on Thursday announced they’ve hired Anderson, 42, for a part-time position as a “hockey liaison.”

In his role, he will “continue to serve as a trusted voice in the Sabres’ locker room, providing insight, guidance, and support to the players and coaching ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is one of three goalies on Buffalo’s roster. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

As goalie Devon Levi thrives as Sabres’ starter, Eric Comrie, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen wait for chance

BUFFALO – Having started all three games, Sabres goalie Devon Levi earned a well-deserved break Wednesday, giving Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen an opportunity to practice in their own net.

Levi usually patrols his own crease, so for the first time this season, they each faced their own shots and found a rhythm they wouldn’t have during a three-goalie session.

Carrying three netminders creates problems, including limited practice reps. Each day, Comrie, 28, and Luukkonen, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt ended a 17-game goal drought Saturday afternoon. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres start fast before Flames roar back: ‘Punched us in the face’

BUFFALO – Following a 10-day break, the Sabres showcased some early jump Saturday afternoon, grabbing a 2-0 lead against the Calgary Flames.

But scoring on two of their first three shots masked signs of trouble. The Flames, who had played twice earlier in the week, outshot them 11-3 in the first period. Coach Don Granato said the Sabres overpassed, looked for the pretty play and complicated simple things.

By about the 15-minute mark, after goals ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen endured some struggles on his way to Buffalo. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Special mentality helped Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen earn No. 1 job

BUFFALO – The burden of expectations could’ve weighed Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen down. After all, shortly after the Sabres drafted him in the second round in 2017, he was labeled as their goalie of the future.

At times in the minors, the Finn seemed to be developing a bit slowly. Injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic limited his playing time. He sometimes struggled or performed inconsistently.

“There’s been ups and downs to it,” Luukkonen said of his ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has already scored four goals this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin scores another goal, sets NHL record

Right now, you might be watching Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin take his first steps into superstardom.

Dahlin, 22, scored again in Thursday’s 6-3 road win over the Calgary Flames, slipping into the slot and beating goalie Jacob Markstrom 10:49 into the game.

In putting the Sabres up 2-1, the Swede made history, becoming the first NHL defenseman to score a goal in each of his team’s first four games to start a season.... Read the full article

Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau scores on Buffalo goalie Dustin Tokarski on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres implode during second period, lose to Flames: ‘Embarrassing effort’

BUFFALO – After years of futility, there’s no denying the Sabres have started moving forward this season.

They entered Thursday a game over .500. At times, they’ve showcased a fast, aggressive style and executed a rigid system. They’re competitive most nights.

Still, the Sabres, as they did throughout Thursday’s ugly 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, can remind you they’re a rebuilding team short on talent.

The Sabres looked downright awful. After a weak first ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin battles Vancouver’s Juho Lammikko on Oct. 19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Mark Pysyk helping Rasmus Dahlin: ‘He’s like, ‘Dude, relax’

BUFFALO – This season, Rasmus Dahlin’s fourth in the NHL, the Sabres defenseman has been trying to calm down a little.

Earlier in his career, Dahlin’s competitiveness often overwhelmed him, and any mistake he made stayed with him.

“This is probably the first year I’ve been thinking about it more and more, so it’s a learning process,” Dahlin said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at KeyBank Center.

Dahlin, ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski (31) loves being around his Buffalo teammates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Craig Anderson, Dustin Tokarski giving Sabres some of NHL’s best goaltending

BUFFALO – Fresh off a scintillating, career-best effort, Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski will likely earn another start tonight, his sixth nod in the last seven games.

Tokarski, 32, has performed superbly handling the load for injured goalie Craig Anderson, helping the Sabres emerge from a five-game winless skid.

The 13-year pro has won two straight starts entering tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at KeyBank Center, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and a .963 ... Read the full article

Marco Scandella spent two and a half seasons with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

To acquire Michael Frolik from Flames, Sabres had to trade Marco Scandella

BUFFALO – When the Sabres traded defenseman Marco Scandella to the Montreal Canadiens shortly before Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers, it felt like another deal could be imminent.

The Sabres need help at forward. Why would they dish Scandella, 29, for or a fourth-round pick in 2020? They’re trying to win now, right?

Well, shortly after the Sabres announced the deal, they traded the pick they received from the Canadiens to the ... Read the full article