BUFFALO – Alex Tuch thought his upper-body injury would heal a bit faster. The Sabres winger never anticipated missing three contests, including captain Kyle Okposo’s 1,000th NHL game.
“It was something that we didn’t want to flare up again,” Tuch said following Thursday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “We just wanted to make sure to keep it under control. … Just wanted to be 100 percent. It was really tough on me to miss Okie’s 1,000th ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – At some point in Friday’s tight 3-2 win, Sabres goalie Devon Levi said the heck with it and dropped the technical aspect of his game.
The contest had become so scrambly, Levi decided it would be better to simply battle to stop the Minnesota Wild from scoring.
“Just kind of tried to keep the puck out of the net,” he said after making a season-high 33 saves.
Levi, 21, was a difference-maker Friday, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The final result, an ugly 5-1 loss, stings enough. The Sabres began Friday on a short roll, having won two straight games and three of their last four.
After a disappointing start this season, the Sabres appeared to have finally found a bit of a groove.
Ninety-one seconds into Friday’s game, they trailed 2-0. The Flyers had two shots on goal.
About five minutes later, Mattias Samuelsson, the Sabres’ sturdiest defenseman, departed the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sweden mandates that hockey players wear neck guards, so Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin wore one growing up and during his short stint playing pro.
Dahlin, 23, grew accustomed to the protection – “I had no problem with it,” he said – and considered it part of his normal equipment.
“I got here (in 2018) and then I somehow stopped using them,” Dahlin said following Thursday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “But I think it’s ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Through all the adversity he endured early in his career – a demotion, position switch, injuries and more – Sabres center Casey Mittelstadt stayed ready, so when a special opportunity materialized late last season, he seized it.
“That’s easily said, but not often done,” Sabres coach Don Granato said earlier this week in KeyBank Center. “… To stay prepared for your opportunity in life – in this case, hockey – is a trait ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When captain Kyle Okposo was contemplating returning for another season, he thought about what it would be like trying to lead the Sabres without Zemgus Girgensons, a popular heart-and-soul veteran.
“I didn’t even want to consider that,” Okposo said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “That’s how important he is.”
Girgensons’ influence has been a huge factor in the Sabres’ recent transformation into a legitimate playoff contender. The winger’s actions and professionalism ... Read the full article
ST. THOMAS, Ont. – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen never expected he would spend five months in Buffalo, win 17 games or briefly emerge as the Sabres’ No. 1 goalie.
After all, Luukkonen, 24, began last season in the AHL before Eric Comrie’s injury forced the Sabres to recall him in mid-November. He quickly emerged as their top option, playing 33 games.
From Dec. 4 until Jan. 24, he won 12 of his 15 starts, including eight of ... Read the full article
ST. THOMAS, Ont. – When the Buffalo Sabres arrived via a police escort at Joe Thornton Community Centre to prepare for tonight’s Kraft Hockeyville game, defenseman Jacob Bryson, who grew up in nearby London, left the bus first to greet excited fans.
“I would say I was ordered,” joked Bryson, who will play in tonight’s preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Of course, Bryson gladly, as he said, “led the charge.” He occasionally practiced ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After center Casey Mittelstadt scored 78 second into Thursday’s overtime, securing a storybook 4-3 victory in Craig Anderson’s final NHL game, the Sabres immediately skated down the ice and mobbed the veteran goalie.
What played out over the next 10 minutes was one of the most emotional scenes you’ll ever watch in a hockey rink.
Every teammate embraced Anderson, 41, on the KeyBank Center ice. When they finished, members of the Ottawa Senators, ... Read the full article