Kyle Okposo played 35 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kyle Okposo undergoes season-ending surgery; Sabres make recalls

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Kyle Okposo has undergone season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his cheek, the team announced this afternoon.

Okposo, 33, left the ice bleeding 9:27 into Thursday’s 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals after teammate Matt Irwin’s shoot-in struck him around the left ear.

His loss could be significant for the Sabres, who have 13 games left this season. The alternate captain has been one of their prominent leaders for ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski has played seven games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski dedicates first NHL win since 2015 to late father

When the final horn sounded and Dustin Tokarski earned his first NHL victory since 2015, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stayed in his crease and pointed his glove to rafters.

Moments later, Tokarski’s excited teammates assembled in front of him, and one by one they each congratulated him, giving him some kind words and a tap on the mask.

“It was pretty incredible, to be honest,” an emotional Tokarski said following Thursday’s 5-2 win over the ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner enjoyed perhaps his best game this season Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rally to stun Flyers; Don Granato making strong case to keep job

On Sunday afternoon, Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres’ belief they could roar back and win was stronger and more collective than in previous games. The interim coach could feel it up and down the bench.

“More confident speak, less emotional speak,” Granato said after the Sabres rallied to stun the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres, who ended their 18-game winless skid March 31, possessed little or no confidence just a ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored in only his second NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Arttu Ruotsalaien utilizes lethal shot to score first NHL goal

Buffalo Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen said when linemate Dylan Cozens delivered a short, soft pass to him in the right circle Sunday afternoon, he simply closed his eyes and shot the puck.

A second later, Ruotsalainen’s lethal one-timer blew by Philadelphia Flyers goalie Carter Hart 4:42 into the second period. The Finnish winger’s first NHL goal tied the game at 2.

“It’s awesome. It’s a dream,” a smiling Ruotsalainen said following his second NHL game, ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has become Buffalo’s top offensive threat. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt, Sabres’ other young players growing under Don Granato

BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.

Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.

All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article

New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Buffalo’s Brandon Montour battle in front of goalie Linus Ullmark on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres battle back against Devils, still lose: ‘We just didn’t have it’

BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.

They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.

But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.

While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen signed as a free agent with Buffalo in 2019. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres want to give prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen look before season ends

BUFFALO – Arttu Ruotsalainen’s pro experience belies his prospect status. The Sabres rookie played six seasons in Liiga, Finland’s top pro circuit. When he left Ilves earlier this season, he had scored a league-leading 16 goals in only 19 games.

Ruotsalainen, 23, arrived here for training camp barely three months ago close to a finished product. So it wasn’t surprising the center earned his first NHL recall after playing just 13 games with the Rochester ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has missed the last three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookies Dylan Cozens, Will Borgen close to returning to practice

BUFFALO – After the Sabres finished practicing today, center Dylan Cozens and defenseman Will Borgen jumped on the KeyBank Center ice and went through a rehab skate, a strong sign the rookies are progressing from their injuries.

“We need the information on how they responded on the ice before we can go to the next step there,” interim Sabres coach Don Granato said on a Zoom call. “But clearly, they’re closer and closer.”

Granato said ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen has compiled 13 points in 13 games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres make roster moves, recall Arttu Ruotsalainen from Amerks

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon recalled forward prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen to the taxi squad and assigned forward Jean-Sebastien Dea from the taxi squad to the Rochester Americans.

Ruotsalainen, 23, has enjoyed a terrific rookie season with the Amerks, scoring five goals and 13 points in 13 games. He just compiled two goals and five points in two weekend outings against the Syracuse Crunch.

Before the North American seasons started, Ruotsalainen starred for Ilves, a ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt scored Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres finally winning again, playing confidently: ‘It’s all come together’

BUFFALO – In barely a week, the Sabres have transformed from the NHL’s laughingstock into a team that plays a fast, active brand of hockey.

Right now, they’re creating offense, limiting chances against and – believe it or not – are pretty exciting to watch. They look nothing like the hapless team that just endured an embarrassing 18-game winless streak.

Interim coach Don Granato has the Sabres playing to their strengths and feeling confident. After ... Read the full article