Mattias Samuelsson was recalled Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson looks impressive in NHL debut

BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.

They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.

But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin created Tuesday’s winning power-play goal. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Power play in rut; Don Granato ‘doing something special’

BUFFALO – In the early days of the season, the Sabres’ potent power play carried them, accounting for a whopping 50% of their goals over the first 17 games.

But since that scorching start – the Sabres scored 19 times and converted an NHL-best 36.4% of their chances – they’ve been downright awful, mustering just two power-play goals in 38 tries in the last 21 outings.

That’s just 5.3%, the league’s worst number over that ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin has started looking like his old self. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Dahlin performs dynamically in Sabres’ win over Devils: ‘Special player’

Over the last week, Rasmus Dahlin has morphed into a dynamic defenseman again, shaking off three dreadful months to help ignite the Buffalo Sabres.

Dahlin, 20, enjoyed his best night this trying season in Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils inside Prudential Center. After tying the game in the second period, he corralled a bouncing puck inside the blue line and deftly created center Casey Mittelstadt’s game-winning power-play goal 10:20 into the third.... 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

Jacob Bryson has quickly established himself as a trusted defenseman. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson becoming trusted defenseman beside Rasmus Ristolainen

BUFFALO – On the left side of the Sabres’ top defense tandem, there’s the diminutive Jacob Bryson, a speedy rookie who has quickly entrenched himself in the lineup.

On the right, there’s 6-foot-4, 221-pound Rasmus Ristolainen, a hulking, physical veteran who’s six inches taller and 32 pounds heavier than his partner.

In Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, Bryson and Ristolainen enjoyed their best night together, each recording two assists and a plus-4 ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson missed Monday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson set to return; Dylan Cozens’ status uncertain

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson practiced today and will likely play in Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, interim coach Don Granato said.

Bryson, 23, missed Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers recovering from an undisclosed injury. The rookie stumbled and fell into Bruins star David Pastrnak’s lower body late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to Boston.

“He’s looking toward a go,” Granato said on a Zoom call following this afternoon’s practice inside ... Read the full article

Eric Staal spent less than one season in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Eric Staal doesn’t want to revisit past with Sabres: ‘Put that behind me’

Eric Staal was hardly interested in revisiting his rough 32-game tenure in Buffalo and explaining the hapless Sabres’ struggles.

Staal, 36, left the NHL’s laughingstock on Friday in the midst of a stunning 17-game winless skid and a personal 23-game goal drought.

So can you blame the veteran center, one of the league’s most decorated players, for wanting to forget about a tumultuous two months and concentrate on his new opportunity with the Montreal Canadiens?... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen doesn’t think the Sabres play smart hockey. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres fall to Penguins, lose 15th straight: ‘We’re not working smart’

The hapless Buffalo Sabres kept hanging around Wednesday, trailing by one goal late in the second period despite being outshot by nearly a two-to-one margin.

No one, of course, expected the Sabres would win. But right now, they’re so bad a one-goal deficit is noteworthy.

That narrow margin did not last. The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled ahead late in the second period, capitalizing on two miscues from struggling winger Taylor Hall to take a commanding lead ... Read the full article

The Sabres experienced a COVID-19 outbreak last month. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres worried about latest COVID-19 problems: ‘Definitely some nerves’

BUFFALO – Finally, after two days of waiting, Don Granato conducted his first practice Friday as interim Sabres coach.

Then shortly after the Sabres departed the ice, the NHL announced this afternoon’s game against Boston at KeyBank Center was postponed because four more Bruins players were added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol-related absences list.

The NHL also postponed Tuesday’s Bruins game against the New York Islanders. Their activities have been paused until at least Wednesday.... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has had two stints on the taxi squad this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres recall Henri Jokiharju from taxi squad, make other moves

The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Henri Jokiharju, who had sat out five out the last six games, from the taxi squad prior to Tuesday’s 3-2 road loss to the New Jersey Devils.

The Sabres also summoned defenseman Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad and sent rookie defenseman Jacob Bryson and center Rasmus Asplund back to the practice group.

Jokiharju, 21, established himself as one of the Sabres’ steadiest defensemen last season while playing all ... Read the full article