Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played 14 games for Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen ready for chance in NHL

BUFFALO – Forget about goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s last six outings, Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert said.

Yes, Luukkonen, 22, has looked sloppy at times since the Amerks’ COVID-19 pause ended late last month, compiling a 2-3-1 record and an awful .863 save percentage.

But a lot of players struggle after being forced to sit idle. Luukkonen did not play for three weeks.

Appert believes Luukkonen’s early-season exploits and the strong habits he has developed illustrate ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin loved playing in Tuesday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin responds to challenge of playing heavy Bruins

In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.

“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.

Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork spent his entire career in Boston’s organization before Monday’s trade. ©2021, Providence Bruins

Anders Bjork excited for opportunity with Sabres: ‘A fresh start for me’

Four seasons into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork said he is still trying to establish an identity.

Two shoulder surgeries and a brutal concussion stymied the 6-foot, 197-pound winger’s development with the Boston Bruins. This year, he fell out of the lineup, becoming a healthy scratch.

So when the Bruins traded Bjork, 24, to the Sabres on Monday in the Taylor Hall deal, he welcomed a change of scenery.

“I was ... Read the full article

Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract in the offseason. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Curtis Lazar shocked by trade to Bruins after rebuilding career with Sabres

Ex-Buffalo Sabres center Curtis Lazar signed a two-year contract prior to the season and quickly solidified a regular spot in the lineup, so he wasn’t expecting to be traded before this afternoon’s deadline.

“Yeah, it completely caught me off guard,” said Lazar, who was dealt to the Boston Bruins earlier today with winger Taylor Hall in exchange for forward Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in 2021.

At 11 p.m. Sunday, Lazar, 26, said he ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall has a no-movement clause in his contract. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Taylor Hall grateful for trade, wanted to join Bruins for long time

In October, before winger Taylor Hall signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres, he said he was “really close” to joining the Boston Bruins as a free agent.

“I was ready to be a Bruin and just some other things kind of didn’t work out,” Hall said on a Zoom call Monday morning hours after being traded to the Bruins. “But it was not like any hard feelings or anything like ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall played 37 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Deadline deal: Sabres trade Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar to Bruins

Winger Taylor Hall’s decision to sign a one-year, $8 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres six months ago stunned the hockey world.

But Hall, 29, had strong reasons for choosing a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011.

After two down seasons, Hall wanted another chance to play for Ralph Krueger, a coach he had thrived under with the Edmonton Oilers.

The opportunity to skate beside Sabres captain Jack Eichel also enticed Hall. ... 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 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

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