Tage Thompson knows the Sabres must change. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want more accountability from new coach: ‘A little too comfortable’

BUFFALO – Well, now we know. As expected, Sabres players praised Don Granato, their former coach, crediting him for boosting their careers and acknowledging they could’ve done more to help him.

Still, they clearly wanted a different type of leader.

In discussing Granato’s dismissal, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said his players “are craving accountability, structure,” a sentiment they echoed Wednesday as they held exit meetings in KeyBank Center following a disappointing 84-point finish.

While ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has played 69 games as a rookie. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Zach Benson scores 10th goal at end of surprising rookie season

BUFFALO – Seven months ago, rookie Zach Benson arrived here having just scored a hat trick for the Wenatchee Wild, the junior team seemingly everyone, including the Sabres, expected he would be returned to following training camp.

Benson’s preseason exploits in Washington illustrated that at just 18, he had possibly outgrown the Western Hockey League. But the diminutive winger’s limited options – as a teenager, he can only play in junior or the NHL – ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch has been on a tear. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres beat Capitals, finish strong at home: ‘Need to do that next season’

BUFFALO – In a season filled with disappointment, the Sabres improved in at least one critical area down the stretch, becoming a tough team to beat at home.

To wit: Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals in the home finale was their third straight victory at KeyBank Center and boosted their record to 9-3-0 in their last 12 outings.

Overall, the Sabres finished 21-19-1 in their building this season, the first time they finished ... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Jordan Greenway tries to score on Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo on Wednesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres, UPL struggle early in ugly loss to Senators: ‘We let him down’

BUFFALO – Over the past three months, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has not only morphed into the Sabres’ backbone, he has emerged one of the NHL’s elite goalies.

Luukkonen’s dynamic netminding is the biggest reason the Sabres still have a minuscule chance – basically win their final nine games and get a lot of help – of grabbing the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot and ending their 12-year playoff drought.

So as the Finn struggled mightily ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has started nine straight games. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres, UPL can’t hold late lead against Jets; Buffalo scratches Erik Johnson with trade deadline approaching

BUFFALO – Don’t blame Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Sure, the Sabres goalie probably wants the tying and go-ahead goals back. Coach Don Granato said the Finn usually makes routine saves on those plays.

But Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets, a game the Sabres led 2-1 after two periods, had nothing to do with Luukkonen, who started his second game in as many nights.

“He’s been great for us,” said Granato, whose Sabres were 19-0-1 when ... Read the full article

Owen Power was injured Feb. 12. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Owen Power returns from injury; Jacob Bryson playing regularly

BUFFALO – On Sunday morning, Sabres defenseman Owen Power did not take his usual spot on the second power-play unit, a sign he possibly needed more time to recover from his upper-body injury.

But following the pregame skate, coach Don Granato said the youngster could be ready for the Sabres’ contest against the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center.

Sure enough, Power, 21, returned their 3-2 shootout win, scoring the late tying goal and skating 23 ... Read the full article

Connor Clifton hadn’t scored a goal since last season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Connor Clifton, Sabres score dirty goals in road wins

BUFFALO – Prior to both games during the Sabres’ fathers and mentors trip, Connor Clifton’s dad, Tim, addressed the team and colorfully called for some dirty goals.

In defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens, the Sabres wreaked havoc on goalies, scoring three times with bodies around the net creating traffic.

Fittingly, Connor Clifton scored Friday’s winner 3:05 into the third period, his first goal in his 55th outing with the Sabres.... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson sat out as a healthy scratch earlier this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Jacob Bryson standing out following stint in Rochester

BUFFALO – When the Sabres sent defenseman Jacob Bryson to the minors for the first time in almost three years, he knew the assignment would be temporary.

Playing in the AHL could help Bryson, 26, find a groove after sitting out 29 of the first 32 games as a healthy scratch, and return to Buffalo ready to contribute.

“That was the plan,” he said prior to Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers in KeyBank ... Read the full article

Owen Power has recently found a groove. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres defenseman Owen Power week to week with upper-body injury

BUFFALO – In recent weeks, Sabres defenseman Owen Power has shaken off a slow start and recaptured some of the form that helped him enjoy a dynamic rookie season.

“He’s just played with more confidence, a little bit more calm with the puck and little bit more assertiveness physically without it,” Sabres coach Don Granato said Tuesday morning after announcing Power will be sidelined week to week with an upper-body injury. “I think a combination ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has scored a team-high 17 goals. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Jeff Skinner suffers injury; Sabres could make change on defense

BUFFALO – Winger Jeff Skinner, the Sabres’ leading goal scorer, suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken and could miss tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center.

The Sabres are awaiting results of the imaging Skinner, 31, underwent Wednesday morning to determine how long he could be sidelined.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be long,” Sabres coach Don Granato following Wednesday’s practice.... Read the full article