Jeff Skinner entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Dec. 21. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Report: Sabres’ Vinnie Hinostroza, Jeff Skinner leave COVID-19 protocol

Sabres wingers Vinnie Hinostroza and Jeff Skinner have left the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and could play in this afternoon’s road game against the Boston Bruins, according to The Buffalo News.

Hinostroza, 27, and Skinner, 29, practiced with the Sabres on Friday in Boston.

“Both will be available, if that’s the direction we decide,” assistant Matt Ellis, who’s subbing for head coach Don Granato, told the paper.

... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres in NHL’s COVID-19 protocol likely unavailable Wednesday

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato and the five players in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol will likely be unavailable for Wednesday’s home game against the New Jersey Devils, assistant coach Matt Ellis said.

“I believe our list is our list and we will not have anyone available from that tomorrow,” Ellis, who’s subbing for Granato, said following this morning’s practice inside KeyBank Center.

In addition to Granato, forwards Dylan Cozens, Zemgus Girgensons, Vinnie Hinostroza, Mark ... Read the full article

Matt Ellis is in his first full season as an assistant coach. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres move forward without Don Granato, five players: ‘I feel for the guys’

BUFFALO – Following the Sabres’ first practice in eight days, winger Kyle Okposo acknowledged that, yes, at times he recently wondered if they would ever skate together again.

On Sunday, Okposo arrived at the KeyBank Center excited the NHL’s Christmas/COVID-19 break had ended. But after coach Don Granato and forwards Dylan Cozens and Mark Jankowski tested positive for the virus, the Sabres canceled their scheduled afternoon practice.

“I was ready to go yesterday,” Okposo said ... Read the full article

Kevyn Adams is preparing like Buffalo will play Wednesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres practice without six after zero added to COVID-19 protocol

BUFFALO – Some quick updates from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres practiced this morning for the first time in eight days following a Christmas/COVID-19 break:

– The Sabres today had zero players added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. With coach Don Granato and five players having tested positive for the virus, assistant coach Matt Ellis led a session with 16 skaters and three goalie.

If Granato can’t coach Wednesday’s scheduled home game against the New ... Read the full article

Don Granato is in his first season as Buffalo’s permanent coach. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres facing COVID-19 issues as Don Granato, players enter NHL protocol

On Sunday, following a six-day pause, the Buffalo Sabres planned to reconvene and practice. Still, given how COVID-19 has been decimating NHL teams, it felt like their return to the ice could be delayed.

Sure enough, barely two hours before their scheduled 3 p.m. session, the Sabres canceled it. About 90 minutes later, they announced coach Don Granato and forwards Dylan Cozens and Mark Jankowski have entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol.

Right now, all three ... Read the full article

Don Granato briefly coached from a suite last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres coach Don Granato, two players enter NHL’s COVID-19 protocol

Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato and forwards Dylan Cozens and Mark Jankowski this afternoon entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. Right now, all three are asymptomatic, according to the team.

The Sabres now have one coach and five players in protocol. Wingers Zemgus Girgensons, Vinnie Hinostroza and Jeff Skinner were added last week.

The team this afternoon canceled a practice scheduled for 3 p.m.

Following a four-day Christmas/COVID-19 break, NHL teams can reconvene today for testing, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has started five straight games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres showcase growing confidence, maturity, beat Wild in shootout

In the not-so-recent past, the Buffalo Sabres might’ve lost a game like Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the first-place Minnesota Wild.

The Sabres trailed 2-1 after two periods because Kirill Kaprizov scored a late, potentially deflating goal. They outshot the Wild 21-6 in the first yet ended the period down 1-0. And then there was the noisy crowd of 18,022 fans inside Xcel Energy Center. The Sabres, of course, have often fared poorly in hostile ... Read the full article

Robert Hagg is Buffalo’s leading shot blocker. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Robert Hagg to lower-body injury; Casey Fitzgerald recalled

In his first months in Buffalo, Robert Hagg established himself as the Sabres’ premier shot blocker and one of their steadiest defensemen. At the same time, the Swede’s affable personality endeared him to his coaches and teammates.

So losing Hagg, who will be sidelined month to month with a lower-body injury, the Sabres announced this afternoon, leaves a significant hole in their lineup.

“We’re gonna miss him,” Sabres coach Don Granato said on a Zoom ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin scored two goals Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin performs dynamically in Sabres’ win: ‘A vision into his future’

At one end of the ice Tuesday, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin performed dynamically, scoring twice in the Buffalo Sabres’ 4-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets. At the other end, rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked calm and composed, turning aside shot after shot in his fourth consecutive start.

At times during the past few weeks, as the losses piled up and the Sabres plummeted down the standings again, it could be hard to find positives in the ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has made three straight starts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen making strong case to stick with Sabres

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s stay here figured to be short. In the midst of a goaltending crisis, it appeared the Finn might play a few games before the Sabres returned him to the minors, where he would continue his development.

But Luukkonen, a prospect considered the Sabres’ goalie of the future, has been making a very strong case to stay put when some netminders are ready to play.

Luukkonen, 22, performed superbly in three starts ... Read the full article