Casey Mittelstadt played his first NHL game since Dec. 10, 2019 on Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ralph Krueger explains why Dylan Cozens was scratched

Before the season, the Buffalo Sabres developed a plan to rest some of their younger players. In occasionally giving them a breather, they want to prevent the physical and mental aspects of the NHL from overwhelming them. They also want to ensure members of their taxi squad have opportunities to play.

So on Sunday afternoon, two days after winger Dylan Cozens scored his first NHL goal, the Sabres loaned the rookie to the taxi ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has quickly become one of the Sabres’ standouts. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens scores pretty first goal in loss; Rasmus Dahlin benched

It ranks as one of the prettiest first goals scored by a Buffalo Sabres rookie in recent memory. Not only did winger Dylan Cozens unleash a wicked wrist shot from the right circle, he created his own goal by stripping the puck from Brian Pinho at center ice.

When Cozens, 19, scored 10:23 into second period, tying Friday’s game at 2, it appeared the Sabres had seized the momentum from the depleted Washington Capitals.

“It ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton left Tuesday’s game after 40 minutes. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose game to Flyers, goalie Carter Hutton to injury

Shortly after Ivan Provorov collided with Carter Hutton during the second period Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stymied James van Riemsdyk’s point-blank opportunity.

Despite taking a hit to the head from Provorov, who was checked into the crease by Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour, Hutton stayed in the game and remained sharp.

But when Hutton returned to the dressing room following the period, he started feeling the effects of the hit, so third-string goalie Jonas Johansson... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has looked comfortable with the Sabres. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens earns fast promotion to Eric Staal’s line

BUFFALO – Seventeen years ago, Sabres center Eric Staal lived what Dylan Cozens, his new linemate, is experiencing right now as a teenage rookie.

“It’s scary to think I was him back in the day,” Staal said on Zoom call after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s road game against the Philadelphia Flyers. “Time goes fast.”

In 2003-04, Staal, now 36, was a neophyte learning the rigors of NHL life. To boost his development, the ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart winces in pain after getting injured Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sam Reinhart misses practice with lower-body injury

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Sam Reinhart, who briefly left Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, is day to day with a lower-body injury, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Reinhart did not practice Sunday but accompanied the Sabres to Philadelphia, where they begin a two-game series Monday against the Flyers.

Krueger said Reinhart’s injury, which he suffered in a collision behind the net, “appears to be manageable.”

“We will do a pregame skate again tomorrow ... Read the full article

Eric Staal has showcased durability throughout his long career. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Eric Staal plays after taking elbow to jaw

BUFFALO – When Nic Dowd elbowed Eric Staal in the jaw late in Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss, it looked like the Sabres center could be sidelined for a while.

The Washington Capitals center knocked the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Staal to the ice and out of the game.

But Staal, who has remained remarkably durable over his 17-year NHL career, played in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Capitals at KeyBank Center, pivoting the second line.

On Friday ... Read the full article

Taylor Hall scored early in his Sabres debut. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres look rusty early, fall to Capitals in season opener after late comeback

BUFFALO – If Thursday’s disjointed performance against the Washington Capitals turns out to be a harbinger, the Sabres could be in for another long season.

In their highly anticipated season opener, the Sabres, who had six new faces in the lineup, looked like the same old team, losing 6-4 inside KeyBank Center.

If fans had been allowed to attend the game, you can bet they would’ve voiced their frustration a few times.

After a 10-month ... Read the full article

Carter Hutton enjoyed a terrific training camp. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton earns opening night start

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Ralph Krueger’s decision to award goalie Carter Hutton the opening night start against the Washington Capitals wasn’t surprising.

Yes, Hutton, 35, struggled most of last season, losing 12 straight decisions at one point. But his turnaround started at the end of 2019-20, when enjoyed a 6-2-0 run in February.

Hutton performed strongly throughout training camp this year, quickly morphing into one of the Sabres’ standouts. Meanwhile, goalie Linus Ullmark missed the ... Read the full article

Tobias Rieder (pictured) has slid into Zemgus Girgensons’ spot on the third line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Tobias Rieder showcasing offensive skills, fitting in well with Sabres

BUFFALO – In the not-so-distant past, losing a player who possessed Zemgus Girgensons’ talents could’ve created a massive hole in the Sabres’ lineup.

The Sabres’ weak depth has regularly contributed their annual struggles. But when Girgensons underwent season-ending hamstring surgery last week, coach Ralph Krueger simply promoted Tobias Rieder to the Latvian’s spot at left wing beside center Cody Eakin and Kyle Okposo.

In Rieder, a free agent the Sabres signed Oct. 9, the ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens could make his NHL debut later this week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ roster almost set; Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn to remain in Buffalo

BUFFALO – The 27 players who participated in Tuesday’s practice will start the season on the Sabres’ roster or taxi squad, coach Ralph Krueger said.

That means 19-year-old forward prospects Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s last two first-round picks, will remain in the NHL for now.

Of course, the Sabres must sort some things out before Thursday’s opener against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Krueger said center Curtis Lazar (lower-body injury) and ... Read the full article