Linus Ullmark hasn’t played since April 13. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark’s return to ice ‘very pleasant surprise’

BUFFALO – After a lower-body injury sidelined goalie Linus Ullmark 15 games, he returned in late March and quickly morphed into the Sabres’ backbone again.

Then on April 13 in Boston, Ullmark, in his eighth appearance back, suffered a lower-body ailment stretching to make a save in the opening minutes. At first, he tried to play through the pain.

“When the pain never subsided and it was getting worse and worse, I couldn’t find any ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left Saturday’s game after the second period. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose ugly game to Bruins, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to injury

After a solid few weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have started reminding everyone why they’ve occupied the NHL’s basement for months.

Saturday’s afternoon’s ugly 6-2 setback to the Boston Bruins was their fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

In an outing reminiscent of the Ralph Krueger era, the Sabres looked disjointed all over the ice, allowing the Bruins to throttled them.

On top of their dismal performance, rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen suffered ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was playing his fourth NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen leaves game injured

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left this afternoon’s game injured after his left skate got stuck on the goal post.

Luukkonen, 22, was injured as he moved across the crease in the waning seconds of the second period against the Boston Bruins. After the rookie caught his skate on the post, he fell backwards and appeared to grab his left knee.

The Finn was helped off the TD Garden ice. Dustin Tokarski has replaced him ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiulla has started finding a groove in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Drake Caggiula excited for opportunity with Sabres, moving up lineup

Having played for four teams in three seasons, Buffalo Sabres winger Drake Caggiula understands how fleeting opportunities can be in the NHL.

Caggiula, a prized college free agent in 2016, has bounced around since the Edmonton Oilers traded him in December 2018, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes before the Sabres claimed him off waivers April 9.

The North Dakota product lasted only 27 games with the Coyotes after signing a one-year contract.... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson believes Buffalo played better than Thursday’s 5-2 loss indicates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres started winning, showcased rapid improvement in April

A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.

Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.

Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has scored six goals in the last three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart morphing into star as center

As Sam Reinhart’s career progressed and he stayed put at right wing, the odds of the Buffalo Sabres moving him back to center, his natural position, seemed low.

Reinhart, 25, established himself as a perennial 20-goal scorer as a winger. Even after the Sabres traded No. 2 center Ryan O’Reilly in 2018, creating a huge void in the lineup, they kept Reinhart beside top center Jack Eichel.

But a major injury and trades ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has two career NHL fights. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens wants to use fights as tool to ignite own game

Over the past couple of games, Buffalo Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens said he has been battling the puck and unable to find any rhythm.

So when an opportunity materialized late in Tuesday’s 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers to stick up for a teammate and fight Kevin Rooney after he boarded Drake Caggiula, Cozens pounced on it.

“The hit didn’t look too good and I wasn’t too happy with my own play ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked impressive again Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks sharp, displays growing confidence

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato could see how goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s body language displayed his growing confidence.

Nothing, it seems, can frazzle Luukkonen. The rookie looked sharp again throughout his second NHL start, stopping 38 shots in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers inside Madison Square Garden.

The 6-foot-4 Luukkonen challenged shooters, tracked shots through traffic and stood his ground as players whacked at second chances – all signs of the Finn’s ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played well in his NHL debut Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Pressure accompanies Ukko-Pekka Luukkonnen’s second start with Sabres

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato knows goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will feel more pressure in his second NHL start.

Luukkonen looked sharp in his debut, stopping 36 shots in Friday’s 6-4 home win over the Boston Bruins. Now, the Finn must face the New York Rangers, who beat the Sabres 6-3 on Sunday, inside Madison Square Garden.

“Even the second game there’s still pressure,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “You finish the ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has missed the last 19 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Injured Sabres goalie Carter Hutton suffers setback in recovery

Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton, who has missed the last 19 games with a lower-body injury, suffered a setback in his recovery, interim coach Don Granato said this morning.

“What that means, I don’t have clarification on it,” Granato said on a Zoom call after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the New York Rangers. “We have not and are not going to say he’s out for the year and won’t play ... Read the full article