Kyle Okposo has scored 18 goals this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

As 34th birthday nears, Sabres’ Kyle Okposo having remarkable season

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo’s ability to remain an impactful NHL player in his mid-30s can be traced to his willingness to keep reinventing himself and evolving.

Two seasons ago, after battling a string of scary concussions, he revived his career by embracing a new checking role and thriving in it. That comeback turned out to be a harbinger for this year.

Following an injury-riddled 2020-21 campaign, Okposo might be enjoying his most impressive ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner skates away from Florida’s Mason Marchment on Sunday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t generate enough energy, lose to Panthers: ‘Didn’t have … jump’

BUFFALO – During Sunday afternoon’s 5-3 loss, coach Don Granato said he heard very little chatter on the bench, an indicator the Sabres, two days removed from an emotional victory, did not feel fresh.

“Entirety of the game, we just couldn’t get the emotional energy,” Granato said after a 5-3 setback to the Florida Panthers ended the Sabres’ eight-game point streak. “It was low. I give our guys some credit for trying to find it ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons scored twice Wednesday. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Despite shootout loss to Jets, Sabres enjoy best month in years

BUFFALO – Forget that the Sabres blew two leads Wednesday. Forget that they lost a 3-2 shootout to the Winnipeg Jets. Forget that they’ve dropped three of their last four games.

The Sabres just ended their most successful and significant month in years, finishing March 8-3-3. They’ve earned at least one point in seven consecutive outings, their longest stretch since their 10-game winning streak in November 2018.

Every team they faced in March was either ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin, Zemgus Girgensons (back) and Kyle Okposo celebrate together this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Cody Eakin, Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo forming strong line

BUFFALO – There’s nothing fancy about the line. A no-frills style has made the trio of center Cody Eakin and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo highly effective since Sabres coach Don Granato recently reunited the veterans.

“We just seem to play the game the right way and do all the cliché things that you talk about, get pucks in, get pucks out and we win some battles,” Okposo said prior to Friday’s 4-3 shootout ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson (72) celebrates Wednesday with Alex Tuch (89) and his Buffalo teammates. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres beat Penguins in shootout to continue hottest stretch in years

BUFFALO – Each win the Sabres earn these days feels like the kind of game they would’ve lost earlier this season.

Take, for example, Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a game in which they blew three leads, including one late in the third period before center Tage Thompson and winger Alex Tuch scored shootout goals.

In the recent past, they probably would’ve wilted down the stretch, especially against the NHL’s best road ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson enjoyed Sunday afternoon’s Heritage Classic. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Mattias Samuelsson earning trust, big minutes from Sabres: ‘An athletic giant’

BUFFALO – The poise Mattias Samuelsson possesses belies his experience. Barely 30 games into his NHL career, the Sabres consistently utilize the rookie against the opposition’s top talent.

On Thursday, Samuelsson faced Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid. In Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the defenseman was often tasked with shutting down Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, one of the NHL’s elite duos.

At one point Sunday, with Marner roaring toward him, ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons hasn’t played since Jan. 25. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons close to returning; Mark Jankowski waived

BUFFALO – The uncertainty Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons experienced after he left the lineup in late January wore on him. The Latvian’s lower-body injury was related to the hamstring problem that forced him to miss all of last season.

“It was definitely mentally tough at the start where I kept going back and forth with how long I would be out,” Girgensons said following Tuesday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter. “It brought back flashbacks from last ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald has played 21 NHL games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Fitzgerald, young defensemen taking over blue line

BUFFALO – In Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, five of the six defensemen the Sabres utilized were 25 or younger.

The graybeard of the group, Robert Hagg, 27, has played all of 282 NHL games.

The rest of the blue line consisted of neophytes. Only one other defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has played more than 200 big league contests.

The Sabres dressed two rookies – Casey Fitzgerald, 25, and Mattias Samuelsson, who turns ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk sat out one game last month. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup change as Henri Jokiharju returns from injury

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju will return tonight from a lower-body injury that has sidelined him the last six games, coach Don Granato said.

To make room, Granato said the Sabres will scratch defenseman Mark Pysyk against the Vegas Golden Knights.

When the Sabres had a surfeit of defensemen last month, they began rotating one in and out each game. Right now, however, Granato wants the team’s young defenders keep playing.

... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has missed the last six games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Henri Jokiharju, other injured players close to returning

BUFFALO – Defenseman Henri Jokiharju and some other injured Sabres could return for tonight’s home game against Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights, coach Don Granato said.

Jokiharju, out the last six games with a lower-body injury, practiced Wednesday in his regular spot beside defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Meanwhile, winger Zemgus Girgensons, out the last 16 games with a lower-body injury, skated on a line of extras with center Mark Jankowski and Anders Bjork inside ... Read the full article