PITTSBURGH – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen calmly faced each breakaway, patiently waiting in position in his crease as Penguins roared toward him. Each time, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stymied his opponent, barely moving and making the stops look easy.
In Saturday’s first period, shortly after Sabres winger Alex Tuch scored 2:53 into the game, superstar Sidney Crosby became Luukkonen’s first victim. In the second period, the Finn thwarted Rickard Rackell’s attempt. Later in the second, he stoned ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – Pop quiz, Buffalo Sabres fans. Since Dec. 7, which player is tied with winger Alex Tuch for the team lead with eight assists?
Is it one of the Sabres’ top centers, Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens or Casey Mittelstadt? Or how about one of their high-scoring wingers, JJ Peterka or Jeff Skinner? What about their defenseman who piles up points like a first-line forward, Rasmus Dahlin?
If you guessed any of the above, you’re ... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres wingers Jordan Greenway and Alex Tuch, both of whom missed Friday’s practice because of illness, will play tonight against the Penguins.
Both players participated in this morning’s optional skate in PPG Paints Arena. Greenway played 18 minutes, 39 seconds in Thursday’s 6-1 road win over the Montreal Canadiens, the most among Buffalo’s forwards.
In other lineup news, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will start tonight, his 19th appearance this season.... Read the full article
PITTSBURGH – When you think of Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson scoring a goal, coach Don Granato said, you have a certain picture.
For much of the past five years, Olofsson has utilized his ultra-quick release and lethal shot, often from the circle area.
“You think of a certain spot on the ice where he opens up and it’s a one-timer,” Granato said following Wednesday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “It’s a shift slightly into the ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – By the end of Friday’s second period, the Sabres had reached what captain Kyle Okposo acknowledged was a desperate situation.
Most of the season, they haven’t showcased the aggressive style that made their offense so lethal last year. They’ve struggled to score goals and find any consistency.
After 40 minutes against the Penguins, the Sabres trailed 2-0 and were in danger of losing for the fifth time in six outings.... Read the full article
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
ROCHESTER – As a rookie barely a year ago, Buffalo Sabres prospect Isak Rosen would’ve been firmly planted on the bench with the Americans clinging to a late one-goal lead.
“I couldn’t fathom putting him on the ice in an empty-net situation 13 months ago,” Amerks coach Seth Appert said following Monday’s practice in Blue Cross Arena.
But Rosen, 20, has developed into what Appert called one of the Amerks’ “drivers” and quietly become one ... 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
PITTSBURGH – With a full roster a week or two ago, coach Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres figured only an injury would create a spot for forward prospect Matt Savoie.
When forward Brandon Biro went on injured reserve Monday, the Sabres had a place for Savoie, who had just completed his 14-day conditioning loan in the minors.
Savoie, 19, made his NHL debut in Friday’s 3-2 home win over the Minnesota Wild, skating just ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres center Peyton Krebs checked his phone after fighting Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby in Friday’s preseason finale, he had a whole lot of text messages waiting for him.
Meanwhile, Krebs said his proud father, Greg, posted on Instagram “he never thought I’d be fighting Sid.”
“He’s been my favorite player growing up since I can remember, so definitely something I didn’t expect,” Krebs said following Saturday’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter. “But ... Read the full article