Linus Ullmark hasn’t played since April 13. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark’s return to ice ‘very pleasant surprise’

BUFFALO – After a lower-body injury sidelined goalie Linus Ullmark 15 games, he returned in late March and quickly morphed into the Sabres’ backbone again.

Then on April 13 in Boston, Ullmark, in his eighth appearance back, suffered a lower-body ailment stretching to make a save in the opening minutes. At first, he tried to play through the pain.

“When the pain never subsided and it was getting worse and worse, I couldn’t find any ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiulla has started finding a groove in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Drake Caggiula excited for opportunity with Sabres, moving up lineup

Having played for four teams in three seasons, Buffalo Sabres winger Drake Caggiula understands how fleeting opportunities can be in the NHL.

Caggiula, a prized college free agent in 2016, has bounced around since the Edmonton Oilers traded him in December 2018, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes before the Sabres claimed him off waivers April 9.

The North Dakota product lasted only 27 games with the Coyotes after signing a one-year contract.... 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

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

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen missed Wednesday’s game in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen could make NHL debut this weekend

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s highly anticipated NHL debut could take place this weekend, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said.

The Sabres have become woefully thin in net, losing Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton to injuries after trading Jonas Johansson.

If Luukkonen hadn’t suffered a lower-body injury with the Rochester Americans, the Sabres likely would’ve recalled him before Thursday’s 5-2 road win over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Center. The Finn missed ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski enjoyed an impressive relief performance Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goaltending becomes concern again for Sabres

A lower-body injury will force Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to miss tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals, meaning Dustin Tokarski will receive his fifth start this season.

Taxi-squad goalie Michael Houser, who has never played an NHL game, will back up Tokarski. Houser, 28, hasn’t played a contest at any level in more than 13 months.

Top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen would be the only available recall, but Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert... Read the full article

Anders Bjork spent his entire career in Boston’s organization before Monday’s trade. ©2021, Providence Bruins

Anders Bjork excited for opportunity with Sabres: ‘A fresh start for me’

Four seasons into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork said he is still trying to establish an identity.

Two shoulder surgeries and a brutal concussion stymied the 6-foot, 197-pound winger’s development with the Boston Bruins. This year, he fell out of the lineup, becoming a healthy scratch.

So when the Bruins traded Bjork, 24, to the Sabres on Monday in the Taylor Hall deal, he welcomed a change of scenery.

“I was ... 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

Steven Fogarty has an opportunity to stick in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Steven Fogarty impressing Sabres, has opportunity to stick in Buffalo

BUFFALO – There was no wild celebration. Not even a fist pump.

When Sabres winger Steven Fogarty scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday, he reacted as if he had done it 100 times. A smiling Fogarty simply raised his stick, pointed to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and shared a few fist bumps with his teammates.

By the time he started skating back to the bench, his grin had disappeared.

“It just happened so quick and ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article