Jeff Skinner enjoyed perhaps his best game this season Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rally to stun Flyers; Don Granato making strong case to keep job

On Sunday afternoon, Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres’ belief they could roar back and win was stronger and more collective than in previous games. The interim coach could feel it up and down the bench.

“More confident speak, less emotional speak,” Granato said after the Sabres rallied to stun the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres, who ended their 18-game winless skid March 31, possessed little or no confidence just a ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour played 112 games with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Dealing Brandon Montour to Panthers likely only Sabres’ first deadline trade

BUFFALO – Defenseman Brandon Montour, like so many of the Sabres’ other notable acquisitions in recent years, left town having never sniffed the playoffs.

The Sabres on Saturday traded Montour, who turns 27 today, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

Barely two years ago, ex-Sabres general manager Jason Botterill paid a steep price for Montour, sending defense prospect Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick to the Anaheim ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has missed the last six games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens happy with own game, ready to return from injury

BUFFALO – Over his first three months in the NHL, Sabres center Dylan Cozens has battled two injuries and COVID-19. The rookie hasn’t played more than six consecutive games all season.

So after Cozens, 20, suffered an upper-body injury in the first period March 29 – he appeared to hurt his left arm – he was upset. He had only played five times since returning from another upper-body injury.... Read the full article

Brandon Montour joined Buffalo before the 2018-19 trade deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres start dealing, trade defenseman Brandon Montour to Panthers

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon made their first trade before Monday’s deadline, dealing defenseman Brandon Montour to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.

At the end of this afternoon’s practice inside KeyBank Center, Montour, who did not skate, said goodbye to his teammates from the bench.

Montour, who turns 27 on Sunday, has registered five goals, 14 points and a minus-13 rating in 38 games this season. He signed ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has become Buffalo’s top offensive threat. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt, Sabres’ other young players growing under Don Granato

BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.

Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju (pictured) enjoys playing beside Rasmus Dahlin. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Henri Jokiharju shaking off poor stretch, playing confidently

BUFFALO – Barely a year after Henri Jokiharju established himself as one of the Sabres’ top defensemen, he started struggling so badly he was demoted to the taxi squad.

Jokiharju, 21, sat out 10 games earlier this season. At times, he looked nothing like the steady defender from 2019-20.

But Jokiharju has settled down under interim Sabres coach Don Granato, showcasing more confidence beside Rasmus Dahlin, his partner over the last eight games.

Jokiharju ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiula attended Buffalo’s development camp in 2014. ©2021, Dan Hickling

Sabres add new player, claim Drake Caggiula off waivers from Coyotes

BUFFALO – In 2014, following forward Drake Caggiula’s sophomore season at North Dakota, he attended the Sabres’ summer development camp, scoring two goals in the annual scrimmage.

Two years later, after Caggiula won a national championship and earned NCAA Tournament MVP honors, the Sabres pursued him as a free agent before he chose the Edmonton Oilers.

This afternoon, Caggiula joined the Sabres after they claimed him on waivers from the Arizona Coyotes.

The 5-foot-10, 176-pound ... Read the full article

New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Buffalo’s Brandon Montour battle in front of goalie Linus Ullmark on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres battle back against Devils, still lose: ‘We just didn’t have it’

BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.

They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.

But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.

While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall will likely be traded before Monday’s deadline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Taylor Hall to be scratched again versus Devils as Sabres try to trade winger

In what are almost certainly his final days in Buffalo, winger Taylor Hall is still involved in all Sabres-related activities other than playing, interim coach Don Granato said.

So while Hall, 29, is still around the team, he will be scratched again for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. The Sabres, of course, want to protect an asset as Monday’s trade deadline approaches.

They first scratched Hall, who is expected to ... Read the full article