Bowen Byram joined Buffalo on March 6. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Bowen Byram adjusting to Buffalo following trade

BUFFALO – Following a torrid start – three goals and four points in his first three games – Sabres newcomer Bowen Byram has understandably cooled off.

Byram, 22, joined the Sabres in a significant trade March 6 that sent center Casey Mittelstadt to the Colorado Avalanche. While he has certainly showcased some of his talent here, the defenseman must acclimate to a new organization, teammates, expectations, surroundings and more.

“Lots of challenges, lots of getting ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked fresher Saturday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Maple Leafs beat Sabres as Toronto fans take over Buffalo: ‘We have to earn it’

BUFFALO – There’s a lot to unpack from Saturday’s 3-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a defeat that likely extinguishes the Sabres’ faint hopes of making a miracle run to the playoffs.

Mathematically, yes, the Sabres are alive. But forget about it. There are five points to make up and five teams to climb and just seven games left.

Saturday’s defeat illustrates how far the Sabres have fallen during a record-setting playoff drought about ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson celebrates his third goal Friday with linemates Alex Tuch (left) and JJ Peterka. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson, Devon Levi dazzle as Sabres roar back to beat Devils

BUFFALO – As Sabres center Tage Thompson recently began to showcase his slick, often dominant form again, a dynamic night like Friday’s four-goal performance felt inevitable.

Following an underwhelming four months, Thompson has looked like the budding superstar who scored 47 goals and 94 points last season.

In Friday’s come-from-behind 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, Thompson buoyed the Sabres, scoring a natural hat trick – two goals in the second period and the ... 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

Jack Quinn hasn’t played since Jan. 27. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres know Jack Quinn’s return from injury can give them boost

BUFFALO – When the Sabres announced the lower-body injury winger Jack Quinn suffered two months ago could sideline him six to eight weeks, it appeared his trying season might be over.

The Sabres have just 10 games left, starting with tonight’s home contest against the Ottawa Senators. If Quinn experienced any setbacks, he could’ve run out of time.

In early March, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams wouldn’t rule out Quinn’s return this season, although he ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin knows Buffalo did not play well in the second and third periods Saturday afternoon. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose to Red Wings, move back in playoff chase: ‘A little bit tense’

DETROIT – The Buffalo Sabres, a team given up for dead earlier this month, have roared back to join the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, so one game won’t extinguish their hopes of grabbing the second wild card spot yet.

Still, Saturday afternoon’s 4-1 loss to the Red Wings, the start of a five-game road trip, could certainly haunt them down the stretch.

Against a reeling opponent that had lost seven straight games, ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson and Bowen Byram celebrate a goal Tuesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Bowen Byram, surging Sabres destroy Red Wings, move closer to playoff spot

BUFFALO – Imagine, if you will, a Sabres team capable of locking down defensively like it has over the past 10 weeks and possessing the offensive firepower of last season.

Since Jan. 1, thanks largely to the emergence of goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the Sabres have boasted the NHL’s third-stingiest defense.

Still, as they’ve focused on different areas of their game and matured this season, their offense has suffered. The fast pace they displayed a year ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons has played 11 seasons in Buffalo. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons sees future in Buffalo, glad trade deadline passed

BUFFALO – Prior to Friday’s trade deadline, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams spoke to some teams interested in acquiring winger Zemgus Girgensons and likely could’ve received a late-round pick in exchange for the 11-year veteran.

But in Girgensons, Adams said he sees a player “so important within the fabric of this team.” After dealing captain Kyle Okposo and defenseman Erik Johnson, he couldn’t trade Girgensons simply because he has an expiring contract.

It sounds like ... 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

Casey Mittelstadt has developed into a coveted center. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt’s status made trading for coveted Bowen Byram possible

BUFFALO – Kevyn Adams said he never shopped Casey Mittelstadt around the NHL. No, the Sabres general manager said, the center’s emergence made him a sought-after asset.

When other GMs called him to ask about Mittelstadt, his leading scorer, he made it clear he was willing to listen and think about possible scenarios.

Adams said he had been working for a couple of years to find a young, top-pair defenseman. Those type of defenders, of ... Read the full article