Rookie Zach Benson scores an empty-net goal Thursday. ©2024, Michleine Veluvolu

UPL stars as Sabres blank Islanders, move toward playoff spot

BUFFALO – OK, now goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and the surging Sabres are making things really interesting.

Thursday’s 4-0 win over the New York Islanders moved them to within three points of the Isles, who own the Eastern Conference’s second wild card spot.

Who would’ve thought last week, when the Sabres dealt leading scorer Casey Mittelstadt and captain Kyle Okposo during their three-game losing streak, they’d suddenly vault into the thick of the playoff chase?... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin (left) likes playing with Bowen Byram (center) but misses Casey Mittelstadt, his close friend. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin sad to see Casey Mittelstadt leave in trade, excited by Bowen Byram’s arrival

BUFFALO – It stinks, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin said, using a stronger word to describe his feelings. His close friend, center Casey Mittelstadt, is gone, having been traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Make no mistake, Dahlin likes the addition of Bowen Byram, his new defense partner, and is happy for Mittelstadt, who joined a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Still, it hasn’t been easy. On Monday, following the Sabres’ first practice without Mittelstadt, a ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch scores Saturday’s shootout winner on Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres respond after trades, beat Oilers in overtime and shootout

BUFFALO – The game ended dramatically, with Sabres defenseman Owen Power scoring with 2.0 seconds left in overtime as the capacity crowd implored him to shoot.

The giddy Sabres jumped over the boards to celebrate Saturday afternoon’s much-needed 3-2 triumph over the heavyweight Edmonton Oilers, saluted the fans in KeyBank Center and left the ice.

In the dressing room, players began taking off their equipment. Oilers general manager Ken Holland and some Sabres coaches left ... Read the full article

Former captain Kyle Okposo warms up Wednesday in Toronto. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres GM Kevyn Adams emotional after trading Kyle Okposo to Panthers: ‘An unbelievable person’

BUFFALO – Kevyn Adams processed the question, cleared his throat and stepped back from the podium for a moment to compose himself. When the Sabres general manager began talking about trading his captain, Kyle Okposo, he fought back tears.

“An unbelievable person,” an emotional Adams said Friday in KeyBank Center after dealing the veteran winger to the Florida Panthers hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline. “I have a lot of respect for people that ... Read the full article

Bowen Byram skates Oct. 29 in Buffalo. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres believe trade gives them special person, player in Bowen Byram

TORONTO – Over the years, Sabres center Dylan Cozens said he and his close friend, defenseman Bowen Byram, had talked about someday playing on the same team again.

Cozens, 23, and Byram, 22, go way back, having played Midget hockey together and represented Team Canada in four tournaments as teenagers.

During the recent NHL All-Star break, they vacationed in Cancun, and Cozens said Byram, who won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2022, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt and Bowen Byram switched teams Wednesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sad, surprised Casey Mittelstadt traded, excited for Bowen Byram

TORONTO – Sooner or later, it was going to happen. Over the past few years, as the Sabres grew into a tight-knit group, their young core remained intact. But as the team evolved and needs materialized and the salary cap became a factor again, someone would have to leave Buffalo.

On Wednesday, two days before the trade deadline, it happened. The Sabres dealt center Casey Mittelstadt, a beloved teammate and their leading scorer, to the ... Read the full article

Peyton Krebs has scored three goals this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres believe Peyton Krebs ready for offensive role; UPL set to return

BUFFALO – The confidence Sabres center Peyton Krebs displayed in grabbing the puck in his own zone, roaring up the ice and undressing a defender at the blue line has taken years to develop.

In junior hockey, sure, Krebs’ skill would allow him take over a game like he did in the second period of Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers. But in the NHL, Sabres coach Don Granato explained, he has been “building ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin performed dynamically in Tuesday’s loss. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres dominate Stars, still lose: ‘Their goalie won that one for them’

BUFFALO – About 14 minutes into Tuesday’s 2-1 loss, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin grabbed center Casey Mittelstadt’s adroit pass just inside the left circle and quickly unleashed a shot on Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger.

The shaft of Oettinger’s stick nullified a splendid scoring chance, and when the puck fell from the netting above the glass, Dahlin caught it and spiked it in frustration.

“I thought he was like trying to throw it at me ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has scored four goals this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Mature game helping Sabres rookie Zach Benson earn keep in NHL

BUFFALO – Zach Benson, the new left winger on the Sabres’ second line alongside center Dylan Cozens and JJ Peterka, hasn’t recorded a point in his last 11 outings. The rookie scored his last goal back on Dec. 15, 18 games ago.

Benson, 18, has compiled four goals in 38 games this season, one less than Jack Quinn, the player he’s replacing, has scored in 17 contests.

Still, after Quinn suffered a lower-body injury Jan. ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson was injured Jan. 23. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Mattias Samuelsson for the rest of the season; Jack Quinn’s injury emotional for his teammates

BUFFALO – Losing defenseman Mattias Samuelsson to a season-ending injury and winger Jack Quinn for six to eight weeks could extinguish the Sabres’ faint playoff hopes.

The Sabres, who practiced Sunday in KeyBank Center following their bye week and NHL All-Star break, must erase a 10-point deficit without two of their top talents.

But forget, for a moment, about their on-ice contributions. Suddenly losing two popular teammates could rattle the Sabres’ psyche.

Watching Quinn, 22, ... Read the full article