Casey Mittelstadt leads Buffalo in points. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Slick assist helps Sabres’ leading scorer Casey Mittelstadt emerge from slump

BUFFALO – Early in Thursday’s overtime, Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt grabbed defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s pass and immediately pivoted toward the net.

For a second, it appeared Mittelstadt could shoot from the right circle. But he was intent on dishing the puck during the four-on-three power play.

In the past, Mittelstadt explained, he might’ve tried to force a pass to center Tage Thompson, whose one-timer from the circle can be lethal. He looked in that direction ... Read the full article

Don Granato lost his cool Tuesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL fines Sabres’ Don Granato $25,000 for outburst directed at officials

The NHL on Thursday fined Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato $25,000 for “unprofessional conduct directed at the officials” late in Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the Florida Panthers.

At the 9:01 mark of the third period, when rookie winger Zach Benson went off for tripping, officials called an unsportsmanlike conduct bench penalty on the Sabres, putting them down two men.

Apparently, Benson’s penalty was the final straw for Granato.

“At some point, you got to ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson (72) skates by former teammate Ilya Lyubushkin on Monday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres can’t put Ducks away in awful loss: ‘Gave them free chances’

BUFFALO – Almost halfway through Monday afternoon’s embarrassing 4-3 loss, the Sabres had the Anaheim Ducks on the ropes.

At that point, the Sabres had dominated the Ducks, outshooting them by about 20 as they generated a slew of prime scoring chances, including some breakaways.

Fourteen seconds after center Tage Thompson’s power-play goal put the Sabres’ up 2-1, the Ducks took another penalty.... Read the full article

Peyton Krebs has scored three goals this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres believe Peyton Krebs ready for offensive role; UPL set to return

BUFFALO – The confidence Sabres center Peyton Krebs displayed in grabbing the puck in his own zone, roaring up the ice and undressing a defender at the blue line has taken years to develop.

In junior hockey, sure, Krebs’ skill would allow him take over a game like he did in the second period of Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers. But in the NHL, Sabres coach Don Granato explained, he has been “building ... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Jordan Greenway (12) and his teammates celebrate his first Tuesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres dismantle Kings as Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen joins elite company with fourth shutout

BUFFALO – Perhaps the most of emphatic of the Sabres’ 23 victories this disappointing season served as another reminder of just how dynamically they’re capable of performing.

On Tuesday, the Sabres annihilated the reeling Los Angeles Kings before an excited crowd of 13,292 fans in KeyBank Center, pouncing on them early and never letting up.

They imposed their will on the Kings, embarrassing them all night.... Read the full article

Alex Tuch tries to score Saturday on St. Louis goalie Joel Hofer. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose again, need more compete: ‘We have to find another gear’

BUFFALO – If you believe time hasn’t run out for the 14th-place Sabres, then the clock is certainly ticking loudly. Two losses last week likely extinguished their faint hopes of entering the playoff chase.

With their season essentially on the line, the Sabres scored just two total goals. In Saturday afternoon’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues before 16,726 fans in KeyBank Center, they created offense again but refused to pay a price to ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has played just 34 NHL games. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Hockey smarts help Sabres rookie Zach Benson solidify top line

BUFFALO – Early in Monday afternoon’s 3-0 win, Sabres coach Don Granato shuffled his lines to give them more directness.

Most notably, he shifted Casey Mittelstadt from left wing on the top line, where he had been subbing for Jeff Skinner, to center, his natural position, between Jordan Greenway and captain Kyle Okposo.

To replace Mittelstadt alongside center Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch, he promoted 18-year-old rookie Zach Benson, who began the game playing with ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stops San Jose’s Anthony Duclair with some help from teammate Erik Johnson (6). ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stars in shutout, emerging as Sabres’ starter

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s run as the Sabres’ starting goalie this season lasted about a week.

Shortly after he grabbed the No. 1 job, he got sick and missed about 10 days. When he returned, rookie Devon Levi had re-established himself following a brief trip to the minors, and the netminders mostly alternated starts about the next month.

But since Dec. 30, Luukkonen, who posted a 28-save shutout in Monday afternoon’s 3-0 win over the ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson left Thursday’s game late. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Injured Sabres center Tage Thompson ‘possibility’ to play against Canucks

BUFFALO – In the past, coach Don Granato said, the Sabres have experienced similar situations in which they wondered if center Tage Thompson would be able to play.

“You don’t know and, boom, he’s ready to go,” Granato said of other injuries Thompson has endured. “So he’s ultra-competitive. He’s played lots of games not at 100 percent and below.”

Granato there’s a “possibility” Thompson, 26, can play in this afternoon’s game against the Vancouver Canucks ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has scored six of Buffalo’s 16 power-play goals. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner week to week with injury; Buffalo makes lineup change

BUFFALO – In a best-case scenario, the Sabres will be without winger Jeff Skinner, their leading goal scorer, for about three or four games.

Skinner, 31, is week to week after suffering an upper-body injury in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken. Coach Don Granato said the veteran will be re-evaluated in a week.

So perhaps Skinner, who has rarely been injured during his six seasons in Buffalo, will be back soon.

Still, the ... Read the full article