Dylan Cozens usually plays center. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres change lines in midst of slow start, insist they won’t panic

BUFFALO – For the time being, Dylan Cozens might be a winger again, having joined Sabres center Tage Thompson and Jordan Greenway on a line during Friday’s practice.

Of course, in the near future, Cozens will likely shift back to center, his natural position. The Yukon native, fresh off a 31-goal breakout season, is a budding star. Thompson and Cozens give the Sabres one of the NHL’s best one-two punches down the middle.

But having ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson scored 28 goals last season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Tyson Jost replaces Victor Olofsson; Jonas Johansson earns No. 1 job for Lightning

BUFFALO – In training camp, Sabres coach Don Granato said he believed winger Victor Olofsson would grow this year after having the summer to process his late-season struggles.

Over the years, Olofsson, 28, has shown he’s cognizant of his deficiencies and willing to evolve. Last season, despite losing his spot in the lineup late, he scored 21 even-strength goals, two more than he had in the previous two years combined.

But three games into the ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson also sat out late last season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Victor Olofsson to be healthy scratch against Lightning

BUFFALO – Just three games into the new season, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson, a healthy scratch down the stretch last year, will be taking a seat again.

The 0-2 Sabres plan to scratch Olofsson for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and insert center Tyson Jost, who sat out the first two contests.

Jost replaced Peyton Krebs this morning between Zemgus Girgensons and captain Kyle Okposo. Meanwhile, Krebs moved up to Olofsson’s spot ... Read the full article

Peyton Krebs (left) grew up rooting for Sidney Crosby. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Peyton Krebs never expected to fight Sidney Crosby: ‘It was fun’

BUFFALO – When Sabres center Peyton Krebs checked his phone after fighting Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby in Friday’s preseason finale, he had a whole lot of text messages waiting for him.

Meanwhile, Krebs said his proud father, Greg, posted on Instagram “he never thought I’d be fighting Sid.”

“He’s been my favorite player growing up since I can remember, so definitely something I didn’t expect,” Krebs said following Saturday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter. “But ... Read the full article

Zach Benson (9) skates in Friday’s preseason game. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zach Benson scores again, caps terrific preseason: ‘Done very well’

BUFFALO – By Monday at 5 p.m., Sabres prospect Zach Benson will know if his impressive preseason – he scored a team-high four goals and seven points – earned him an NHL roster spot.

The rookie scored again and recorded an assist in Friday’s finale, a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center in which the Sabres blew a 3-1 second-period lead.

More on the game later.

Having been selected 13th overall this ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has scored three goals during the preseason. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Prospect Zach Benson’s performance gives Sabres intriguing roster option

BUFFALO – As Sabres prospect Zach Benson quickly became the talk of training camp and began pushing for a roster spot, his exploits hardly surprised center Peyton Krebs.

Krebs, after all, has watched him do it before. Three seasons ago, the Winnipeg Ice expected Benson, then a 15-year-old rookie, would mostly practice when he joined the junior team for its truncated bubble schedule in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Instead, the diminutive winger impressed the Ice so ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt (37) skates away from Zemgus Girgensons during training camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

After starring role as top center, Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt back in middle

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

Zemgus Girgenson is beginning his 11th season in Buffalo. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zemgus Girgensons excited for 11th season: ‘Got to see things through’

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

The Joe Thornton Community Centre is ready for the Sabres. ©2023

Jacob Bryson, Sabres excited to play in Hockeyville: ‘It’s very special’

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

Connor Clifton plays a rugged style that irritates opponents. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin ‘hated to play against’ new partner Connor Clifton

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton heard his new teammate, Rasmus Dahlin, feared him during his days with the Boston Bruins, and couldn’t believe it.

“He said that?” Clifton asked a reporter following Thursday’s opening session of training camp in KeyBank Center.

Dahlin sure did. He detested playing against Clifton, who relishes showcasing an aggressive, physical style that riles opponents.... Read the full article