Casey Mittelstadt played his first NHL game since Dec. 10, 2019 on Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ralph Krueger explains why Dylan Cozens was scratched

Before the season, the Buffalo Sabres developed a plan to rest some of their younger players. In occasionally giving them a breather, they want to prevent the physical and mental aspects of the NHL from overwhelming them. They also want to ensure members of their taxi squad have opportunities to play.

So on Sunday afternoon, two days after winger Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal, the Sabres loaned the rookie to the taxi ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt played 36 games with Rochester last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres assign rookie Dylan Cozens to taxi squad, recall Casey Mittelstadt

Two days after scoring his first NHL goal, the Buffalo Sabres today sent winger Dylan Cozens to the taxi squad and recalled forward Casey Mittelstadt from the practice group.

Mittelstadt, 22, will likely make his season debut in this afternoon’s road game against the Washington Capitals. The American hasn’t played an NHL game since Dec. 10, 2019.

It’s unclear why the Sabres assigned Cozens, 19, to the taxi squad. The rookie has enjoyed regular ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has quickly become one of the Sabres’ standouts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens scores pretty first goal in loss; Rasmus Dahlin benched

It ranks as one of the prettiest first goals scored by a Buffalo Sabres rookie in recent memory. Not only did winger Dylan Cozens unleash a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, he created his own goal by stripping the puck from Brian Pinho at center ice.

When Cozens, 19, scored 10:23 into second period, tying Friday’s game at 2, it appeared the Sabres had seized the momentum from the depleted Washington Capitals.

“It ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has looked comfortable with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens earns fast promotion to Eric Staal’s line

BUFFALO – Seventeen years ago, Sabres center Eric Staal lived what Dylan Cozens, his new linemate, is experiencing right now as a teenage rookie.

“It’s scary to think I was him back in the day,” Staal said on Zoom call after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Time goes fast.”

In 2003-04, Staal, now 36, was a neophyte learning the rigors of NHL life. To boost his development, the ... Read the full article

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article

Eric Staal left Thursday’s game after taking an elbow to the jaw. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal to be game-time decision against Capitals

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal, who left Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals after getting elbowed in the jaw, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s rematch, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Update: Staal will play tonight.

If Staal can’t play, Kruger said newcomer Riley Sheahan will be moved to center. Sheahan played right wing beside center Curtis Lazar and Jeff Skinner in the season opener.

“We’ve got a backup plan,” Krueger said on a ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall scored early in his Sabres debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres look rusty early, fall to Capitals in season opener after late comeback

BUFFALO – If Thursday’s disjointed performance against the Washington Capitals turns out to be a harbinger, the Sabres could be in for another long season.

In their highly anticipated season opener, the Sabres, who had six new faces in the lineup, looked like the same old team, losing 6-4 inside KeyBank Center.

If fans had been allowed to attend the game, you can bet they would’ve voiced their frustration a few times.

After a 10-month ... Read the full article

The Sabres acquired Eric Staal to center their second line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal leaves loss to Capitals after hit to jaw

BUFFALO – Sabres center Eric Staal left Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss to the Washington Capitals after Nic Dowd elbowed him in the jaw.

Coach Ralph Krueger had no update following the game on Staal, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 16 to center the second line.

“I saw what you saw,” Krueger said on a Zoom call. “We’re just assessing him. It’s one of those where it’s definitely in a day-to-day status ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton enjoyed a terrific training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton earns opening night start

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger’s decision to award goalie Carter Hutton the opening night start against the Washington Capitals wasn’t surprising.

Yes, Hutton, 35, struggled most of last season, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. But his turnaround started at the end of 2019-20, when enjoyed a 6-2-0 run in February.

Hutton performed strongly throughout training camp this year, quickly morphing into one of the Sabres’ standouts. Meanwhile, goalie Linus Ullmark missed the ... Read the full article

Jack Quinn has impressed the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Prospect Jack Quinn still with Sabres, will be assigned to taxi squad

BUFFALO – On Wednesday morning, rookie Jack Quinn wasn’t among the five players the Sabres assigned to their new taxi squad.

But instead of practicing with the team’s main group at KeyBank Center, Quinn joined the taxi-squad players across the street inside LECOM Harborcenter.

Meanwhile, taxi-squad forward Rasmus Asplund skated with the Sabres’ main group.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said last week the practice groups would be adjusted every morning, so expect regular movement ... Read the full article