BUFFALO – Forget, for a moment, about the dynamic goal Sabres winger Zach Benson scored Wednesday.
Seconds before Benson, 18, utilized a scintillating between-the-legs backhand to beat Washington Capitals goalie Darcy Kuemper for his first NHL goal, he made two subtle plays that belied his age.
The maturity the rookie showcased – coach Don Granato called the plays “significant” – helps illustrate why the Sabres have chosen to keep him, at least for now.
Benson, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – As the roster spot he earned out of training camp illustrates, the Sabres feel comfortable awarding rookie winger Zach Benson NHL action.
Still, Benson, 18, has essentially been on a trial run. He can play nine games before the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in. So far, he has dressed for six contests.
Benson, the 13th overall pick this year, has missed the last seven games with a lower-body injury.... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – On the surface, pumping 35 shots on goal looks good, like the Buffalo Sabres created enough offense to win. Perhaps they just ran into a hot goalie.
While Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry played well in Saturday’s 4-0 win, he hardly stood on his head. The Sabres simply made it too easy for him in front of the 18,429 fans in PPG Paints Arena.
“We used our skill to create stuff but we didn’t ... 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 – Sabres center Dylan Cozens said he has learned his lesson.
In the future, don’t expect to see him picking fights with heavyweights like he did as frustration overwhelmed him late in Friday’s 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
“It probably won’t happen like that again,” Cozens said Wednesday after returning to practice in KeyBank Center wearing a full face shield.
Cozens, 22, also sported protection over his nose, which likely means it’s broken, ... 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 – Fair or not, the knock on Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is his inability to make big saves at critical times.
In his 50-game career, the Finn hasn’t delivered many of those momentum-changing stops that might preserve a lead or keep a contest tied or within striking distance.
That’s why Luukkonen’s superb save on star Mikko Rantanen with the game tied at 0 early in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 win holds so much significance.
The ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Eric Comrie’s lower-body injury will likely sideline him at least few weeks, general manger Kevyn Adams said. Meanwhile, rookie Devon Levi is still recovering from his lower-body injury.
So on Saturday, the Sabres, the same team forced to scratch a healthy goalie four times earlier this season, recalled Devin Cooley on an emergency basis from the Rochester Americans.
Cooley, 26, will back up Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for this afternoon’s game against the ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zach Benson and goalie Devon Levi both missed Friday’s practice because of lower-body injuries and are considered day to day, according to the team.
Both rookies finished Thursday’s 4-3 loss to the Calgary Flames in KeyBank Center.... Read the full article