Connor Clifton joined Buffalo this season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

After post-suspension slump, Sabres’ Connor Clifton playing aggressively, producing offense

BUFFALO – For weeks, the hit kept playing in the back of Connor Clifton’s head. The Sabres defensemen couldn’t let go of it.

“You’re going to make a hit, and then you’re like, ‘Oh, wait, I just got suspended for two games, right?’” Clifton said following Tuesday’s practice in KeyBank Center.

The affable Clifton, one of the NHL’s most aggressive hitters, had never been suspended before he thumped Devils captain Nico Hischier in the head ... Read the full article

Don Granato battled cancer in 2005. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato grateful for support as brother, Tony, battles cancer

BUFFALO – Having battled cancer in 2005, Sabres coach Don Granato understands what his older brother, Tony, is experiencing right now.

On Sunday, Tony, 59, announced in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that he has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and would be taking a temporary leave of absence from his job as an analyst with NBC Sports Chicago.

The last three or four weeks, Don Granato said, have been challenging.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen makes a save Sunday afternoon with teammate Jacob Bryson nearby. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stymies Avs, records first NHL shutout

BUFFALO – Fair or not, the knock on Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is his inability to make big saves at critical times.

In his 50-game career, the Finn hasn’t delivered many of those momentum-changing stops that might preserve a lead or keep a contest tied or within striking distance.

That’s why Luukkonen’s superb save on star Mikko Rantanen with the game tied at 0 early in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 win holds so much significance.

The ... Read the full article

Devin Cooley, shown here in training camp, began the season in training camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

With Sabres goalie Eric Comrie injured, Devin Cooley earns first NHL recall; Buffalo changes up lines

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Eric Comrie’s lower-body injury will likely sideline him at least few weeks, general manger Kevyn Adams said. Meanwhile, rookie Devon Levi is still recovering from his lower-body injury.

So on Saturday, the Sabres, the same team forced to scratch a healthy goalie four times earlier this season, recalled Devin Cooley on an emergency basis from the Rochester Americans.

Cooley, 26, will back up Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for this afternoon’s game against the ... Read the full article

Connor Clifton has a penchant for hitting. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Connor Clifton knows why hit earned him two-game suspension

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton said he has watched the replay of the hit he laid on New Jersey Devils captain Nico Hischier over and over.

Clifton, who on Saturday was suspended two games by the NHL for an illegal check to the head, wishes he had approached the hit differently.

As the puck moved toward Hischier, Clifton figured the center would grab it and carry it into the Buffalo zone. When he let ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson has played 12 games this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Why don’t the Sabres play goalie Craig Anderson more often?

BUFFALO – Among goalies who have played at least 10 games this season, Sabres veteran Craig Anderson’s .921 save percentage ranks seventh in the NHL.

That’s 55 points higher than Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the rookie who has been receiving the majority of starts with Eric Comrie sidelined. Before Comrie suffered a lower-body injury, he compiled an .887 save percentage.

Anderson, 41, has performed a lot better than the Sabres’ other goalies this season. Overall, he ... Read the full article

Rookie JJ Peterka (left) and Jack Quinn celebrate a goal Nov. 28. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookies JJ Peterka, Jack Quinn share special chemistry, friendship

BUFFALO – Winger JJ Peterka scored perhaps the most scintillating of the Sabres’ 114 goals this season because he possessed the confidence to thread the puck through Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

Think about it, a rookie just 31 games into his NHL career believed he could beat a 15-year veteran and the 2015-16 Norris Trophy winner.

“He’s not afraid to try those things and he’s confident in his abilities to execute them,” Sabres ... Read the full article

Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen tries to thwart a scoring attempt by Colorado’s Artturi Lehkonen’s on Thursday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Lack of discipline burns Sabres in loss to Avalanche: ‘Some bad penalties’

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ penalty killing has alternated this week between abysmal and excellent, helping them lose two games and win another.

In Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center, it was awful, allowing three goals in six attempts to the NHL’s top power play, including two in a span of 49 seconds in the second period.

A night earlier in their 5-4 shootout win in Detroit, the Sabres killed all seven ... Read the full article

Peyton Krebs returned to the lineup Thursday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato believes scratches can help Peyton Krebs

BUFFALO – The Sabres inserted center Peyton Krebs for Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, just his second appearance in the last six games.

To make room for Krebs, a healthy scratch the previous three contests, the Sabres sat out winger Vinnie Hinostroza.

That Krebs, 21, had been bumped out of the lineup wasn’t surprising. He sat out two games in late October when the Sabres briefly began rotating forwards. He had mustered zero ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson celebrates one of his three goals Saturday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson scores hat trick in dominant performance against Avs

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson’s penchant for trying to score the so-called perfect goal has added more intrigue to his breakout season.

What might happen, say, if Thompson starts utilizing his quick release more frequently?

“When he realizes not to worry about scoring the perfect goal one inch under the bar, he’ll score double his goals,” Granato said after Thompson recorded his first NHL hat trick in Saturday afternoon’s 5-3 loss. “Just score, just ... Read the full article