It took time for the Montreal Canadiens to experience the surge that often accompanies a coaching change. Martin St. Louis lost the first three games of an interim gig that increasingly looks like it will become permanent.
Wednesday’s 4-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres was the Canadiens’ fourth straight triumph. They had just eight victories all season before beating the St. Louis Blues last Thursday.
The Sabres annihilated the Canadiens earlier this season, outscoring them ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo missed this morning’s pregame skate in Montreal because of illness and likely won’t play tonight against the Canadiens, coach Don Granato said.
“I don’t expect him for tonight but he’s still a possibility,” Granato said on a Zoom call from the Bell Centre.
With Okposo probably out and winger Victor Olofsson (illness) also sidelined, Granato said he expects forward Brandon Biro to make his NHL debut tonight.
... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his fourth season, Rasmus Dahlin has emerged as the Sabres’ most valuable player and one of the NHL’s premier young defensemen.
At 21, Dahlin, who will likely return from upper-body injury tonight, is a budding star.
“He has clearly, definitively established himself as our top defenseman,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Tuesday’s practice inside KeyBank Center.
Dahlin’s absence in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets was glaring. With the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Whether it’s tonight against the Montreal Canadiens or later during the Sabres’ five-game road trip, center Brandon Biro will likely make his NHL debut soon.
Biro, 23, has been on a tear for the Rochester Americans, compiling nine goals and 31 points in his last 28 games. The Penn State product figured to earn a look from the Sabres sooner or later.
On Tuesday, with winger Victor Olofsson sidelined by a non-COVID illness, ... Read the full article
In the two seasons following his scintillating 40-goal campaign in 2018-19, it appeared Sabres winger Jeff Skinner would never recapture the scoring prowess he possessed throughout that career year.
Skinner, who enjoyed a dynamic afternoon in Sunday’s 5-3 win, scoring a career-high four goals and adding an assist, looked finished as an elite NHL scorer.
Last season, Skinner scored just seven times in 53 games and was scratched three times. In 2019-20, he recorded 11 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By the end of that night in Vegas, every member of the Golden Knights knew when Sabres rookie Casey Fitzgerald, the undersized defenseman playing just his seventh NHL game, was on the ice.
“And they didn’t like it,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Saturday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter. “It was the better players, that was the beauty of it. We can play him against better players and they’re looking over their ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Given the Sabres’ recent goaltending woes, the rebuilding team could be forced to award prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen a look soon.
Maybe Luukkonen would stay for just a game or two. Or perhaps he might receive regular action while No. 1 goalie Craig Anderson, 40, recovers from his upper-body injury.
The Sabres, as evidenced by the ugly 2-9-1 streak they carry into tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center, need help ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For Thursday’s season opener, the Sabres had three extras, scratching forwards Arttu Ruotsalainen and John Hayden and defenseman Will Butcher.
In Ruotsalainen, they sat out one their most intriguing young forwards. The Finn, 23, enjoyed regular duty over the final month last season, compiling five goals and six points in 17 games.
In Butcher, they sat out one their higher-profile offseason acquisitions. The American, 26, compiled 74 points over his first two ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Nine months ago, as Craig Anderson’s 40th birthday approached, it appeared his long career could be over. Eventually, the veteran goalie parlayed a tryout with the Washington Capitals into a one-year contract.
Still, Anderson was their third netminder, spending most of the season on the taxi squad and playing just six games, including two playoff appearances.
Tonight, Anderson will be the Sabres’ opening night starter against the Montreal Canadiens, a remarkable late-career ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Don Granato first sensed it during the Sabres’ marathon offseason in 2020. Having been humbled by his demotion to the minors, Casey Mittelstadt grasped he had reached a critical juncture of his career.
When Granato, then an assistant coach, spoke to Mittelstadt, he could feel the center was evolving and maturing.
“He was putting all these pieces (together) of what people had presented to him,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice.
Granato said Mittelstadt ... Read the full article