BUFFALO – That miraculous save was a result of Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s experience and growing confidence, not luck.
Sure, it helped that Jimmy Vesey couldn’t lift the puck high as Luukkonen lunged across the crease during the third period of Monday’s 5-1 road win over the New York Rangers.
Still, the Finn, Sabres coach Don Granato explained, now reads plays so well he knew Vesey was lurking in the left circle, waiting for Erik ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the Sabres’ decision-makers examined the upcoming schedule, they saw saw limited opportunities here for rookie goalie Devon Levi.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has emerged as the Sabres’ best goalie, and they want to award him more starts. If they kept three netminders, Levi would’ve played perhaps once a week. Following tonight’s road game against the St. Louis Blues, the Sabres play 15 times in December, meaning practice time will be limited.
So on Tuesday, ... Read the full article
As Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen recently emerged as the Buffalo Sabres’ top option in net, the end of their three-goalie rotation seemed imminent.
In winning three straight starts, Luukkonen has performed like the No. 1 netminder the Sabres envisioned years ago.
Something had to give and on Tuesday the Sabres sent rookie goalie Devon Levi, who started the first four games this season, to the Rochester Americans.
Going forward, Luukkonen will likely be the starter and be ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Goalie Eric Comrie has a plan to get home if his wife, Haley, goes into labor during the Sabres’ three-game road swing.
Haley is due to deliver the couple’s first child Saturday and the trip, which starts tonight in Winnipeg, lasts until Wednesday. So there’s a strong chance Comrie, 28, will have to hurry back to Buffalo.
“It’s nerve-wracking, yeah,” Comrie said following Thursday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “But … we’re both really ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The game, a 5-2 shellacking from the heavyweight Boston Bruins after the Sabres celebrated captain Kyle Okposo’s 1,000th NHL appearance, was bad enough.
But they also lost top center Tage Thompson on Tuesday to an upper-body injury coach Don Granato said will probably sideline their most dynamic scorer “significant time.”
Thompson, 26, left the game just over 11 minutes into the second period after blocking Charlie McAvoy’s shot with his left hand or ... 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 – After starting four games in eight days to kick off his rookie season, Sabres goalie Devon Levi took a backseat, playing just one of the next nine contests.
Levi, 21, spent 12 days recovering from a lower-body injury and when he returned, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, 24, had found a groove.
So Sabres coach Don Granato recently began rotating the young netminders. If he holds to it, Levi will play tonight’s game ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When the season began, the Sabres wanted goalie Devon Levi to experience the harshness of a long NHL schedule, so the rookie started four straight games.
“I wanted him to feel some grind and quick preparation and quick turnaround and battle,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “So I think he gained a lot of experience from that that’s going to help him the rest of his career, ... Read the full article
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
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