Tage Thompson skates during Tuesday’s first period. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson returns from injury; Alex Tuch could play soon

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson said he originally expected the left hand injury he suffered on Nov. 14 would sideline him four to six weeks.

“Things progressed a little quicker,” Thompson said prior to recording an assist in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in KeyBank Center. “X-rays came back good.”

Thompson’s injury healed so quickly that he returned in just three weeks. Despite the layoff, he played after participating in just ... Read the full article

Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen watches Nashville’s Filip Forsberg as teammate Mattias Samuelsson (23) defends. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Reeling Sabres lose game to Predators, Alex Tuch to injury

BUFFALO – Things keep getting worse for the Sabres. Not only did they lose again Sunday, their third straight setback and fourth in the last five games, winger Alex Tuch appeared to suffer a hamstring injury chasing down Filip Forsberg on a breakaway.

Tuch departed the 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators about 7:34 into the third period and did not return. As Forsberg zoomed in on goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Tuch grabbed his hamstring and ... Read the full article

Jordan Greenway was injured Saturday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jordan Greenway sits with injury; Erik Johnson scratched

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Jordan Greenway missed Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators after suffering an apparent shoulder injury a night earlier.

Greenway, 26, left Saturday’s 6-2 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes after the first period and did not return. He underwent shoulder surgery last year and battled the injury throughout the season.

Coach Don Granato said the Sabres would know more about Greenway’s injury today.

With Greenway injured, rookie winger Isak Rosen, 20, ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie played one game for Buffalo. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres hope brief NHL experience will help prospect Matt Savoie in junior

BUFFALO – In the heat of a close game, with two precious points at stake, Sabres coach Don Granato did not feel comfortable putting prospect Matt Savoie on the ice.

So in his NHL debut, Friday’s 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild, Savoie, 19, skated just 3 minutes, 55 seconds over five shifts. He did not play in the third period.

On Saturday, the Sabres sent Savoie, who missed all of training camp, back to ... Read the full article

Ryan Johnson has played two NHL games. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Rookie Ryan Johnson impresses Sabres, earns big minutes with Rasmus Dahlin

BUFFALO – Ryan Johnson needed barely eight minutes of ice time to convince the Sabres he deserved a bigger role. So, fresh off his impressive NHL debut, they awarded the defenseman duty alongside Rasmus Dahlin.

In limited action Saturday in Toronto, Johnson, 22, had quickly showcased maturity and poise that belied his neophyte status. His ability to acclimate in a hostile environment against a strong Maple Leafs team impressed the Sabres.

Still, despite giving ... Read the full article

Ryan Johnson earned a long look from Buffalo in the preseason. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

After surprise recall, Sabres rookie Ryan Johnson stands out in win in Toronto

TORONTO – Ryan Johnson’s Saturday began in Rochester, where he was preparing to hop on a bus and play with the Americans in Syracuse. It ended in Scotiabank Arena, where the rookie celebrated a win with the Buffalo Sabres and his first NHL point.

Having lost Mattias Samuelsson to a lower-body injury Friday, the Sabres needed another defenseman, and they chose Johnson, 22, over more experienced options.

Johnson said when Rochester’s coaches told him ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch scored twice Saturday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Alex Tuch breaks loose late in Sabres’ win over Maple Leafs; Dylan Cozens misses game with injury

TORONTO – No, it wasn’t quite a piano off Alex Tuch’s back. The Sabres winger had scored this season before his two third-period goals Saturday secured a 6-4 win over the Maple Leafs. He said he believes he had been skating well.

Piano’s too heavy for the expression.

“Monkey more than piano,” said Tuch, bringing the weight he was carrying early this season down about 700 pounds.

Fresh off a breakout 36-goal campaign, Tuch hadn’t ... Read the full article

Ryan Johnson has played nine games with Rochester. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres hear ‘good news’ about Mattias Samuelsson’s injury; Ryan Johnson recalled from Amerks

TORONTO – Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson’s lower-body injury won’t sideline him long-term, Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato said.

“We got good news … but he’s going to be out for a little bit,” Granato said prior to tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs in Scotiabank Arena.

Samuelsson, 23, has been placed on injured reserved, meaning he will miss at least a week. He left Friday’s 5-1 home loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.... Read the full article

Erik Johnson is a mainstay on the penalty kill. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Maturity, newcomer Erik Johnson boost Buffalo’s penalty killing

BUFFALO – Through nine games, the Sabres have mostly utilized the same penalty killers as last season, with one exception. Newcomer Erik Johnson usually jumps over the boards first with defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, offering a stabilizing veteran presence.

So far, Johnson has helped, as the Sabres have killed 89.2 percent of their penalties, which ranked sixth in the NHL entering Monday’s games. Last season, they killed just 73 percent of their penalties, which ranked 28th ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen makes a save Sunday afternoon with teammate Jacob Bryson nearby. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stymies Avs, records first NHL shutout

BUFFALO – Fair or not, the knock on Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is his inability to make big saves at critical times.

In his 50-game career, the Finn hasn’t delivered many of those momentum-changing stops that might preserve a lead or keep a contest tied or within striking distance.

That’s why Luukkonen’s superb save on star Mikko Rantanen with the game tied at 0 early in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 win holds so much significance.

The ... Read the full article