Jacob Bryson believes Buffalo played better than Thursday’s 5-2 loss indicates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres started winning, showcased rapid improvement in April

A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.

Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.

Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has two career NHL fights. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens wants to use fights as tool to ignite own game

Over the past couple of games, Buffalo Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens said he has been battling the puck and unable to find any rhythm.

So when an opportunity materialized late in Tuesday’s 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers to stick up for a teammate and fight Kevin Rooney after he boarded Drake Caggiula, Cozens pounced on it.

“The hit didn’t look too good and I wasn’t too happy with my own play ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked impressive again Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks sharp, displays growing confidence

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato could see how goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s body language displayed his growing confidence.

Nothing, it seems, can frazzle Luukkonen. The rookie looked sharp again throughout his second NHL start, stopping 38 shots in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers inside Madison Square Garden.

The 6-foot-4 Luukkonen challenged shooters, tracked shots through traffic and stood his ground as players whacked at second chances – all signs of the Finn’s ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played well in his NHL debut Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Pressure accompanies Ukko-Pekka Luukkonnen’s second start with Sabres

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato knows goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will feel more pressure in his second NHL start.

Luukkonen looked sharp in his debut, stopping 36 shots in Friday’s 6-4 home win over the Boston Bruins. Now, the Finn must face the New York Rangers, who beat the Sabres 6-3 on Sunday, inside Madison Square Garden.

“Even the second game there’s still pressure,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “You finish the ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton has missed the last 19 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Injured Sabres goalie Carter Hutton suffers setback in recovery

Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton, who has missed the last 19 games with a lower-body injury, suffered a setback in his recovery, interim coach Don Granato said this morning.

“What that means, I don’t have clarification on it,” Granato said on a Zoom call after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the New York Rangers. “We have not and are not going to say he’s out for the year and won’t play ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen has quickly earned regular duty in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen scoring, earning keep in NHL

When Don Granato arrived in Buffalo as an assistant in 2019, the idea of someday coaching a relatively unknown Sabres prospect named Arttu Ruotsalainen intrigued him.

Granato, now Buffalo’s interim coach, only watched Ruotsalainen, 23, up close for a few weeks in training camp. The Finn’s contract stipulated he had to return to Ilves, his Liiga team, if he did not make the Sabres last season.

Still, Granato’s brief time around the 5-foot-9, 185-pound ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski will make his 10th start tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to watch; Will Borgen to be scratched

Instead of playing goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen again tonight, interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato wants to let the rookie examine the New York York Rangers up close.

So Luukkonen, 22, will watch tonight’s game at Madison Square Garden as a backup. Veteran Dustin Tokarski will start his 10th game this season.

Luukkonen looked sharp in his NHL debut Friday, stopping 36 shots in a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins. The Finn watched two ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked strong in his NHL debut Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres should keep playing goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

BUFFALO – Get this straight: Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen isn’t ready for regular NHL duty.

In the coming weeks or at the beginning of next season, he will likely return to Rochester, where he can carry the load for the Americans and keep developing.

Luukkonen looked terrific for most of his NHL debut, stopping 36 shots in Friday’s 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins. But he needs more seasoning. The Sabres’ top goalie prospect has ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 36 saves Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen shines in NHL debut, helps Sabres beat Bruins

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looked a little wonky early in his NHL debut, allowing a goal on the first shot he faced barely two minutes into the game. Later in the period, the Boston Bruins hit two goal posts.

But Luukkonen, 22, enjoyed plenty of help for much of Friday’s 6-4 win, allowing him to settle in and grow more comfortable as the night progressed inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres stymied Boston’s offense ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has dressed as backup the last two games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Excitement accompanies Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first start

Right now, the Buffalo Sabres need top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark are injured. Dustin Tokarski, who played in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, started back-to-back games earlier this week. He can’t go again tonight against Boston inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres’ only other goalie on an NHL contract, Michael Houser, has spent most of his career in the ECHL.

They’re out of options, so Luukkonen, ... Read the full article