Michael Houser won his first two NHL games before Thursday’s blowout loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres don’t help Michael Houser, get throttled by Penguins: ‘We owe him’

Almost eight minutes into Thursday’s second period, after the Penguins scored twice in a minute and grabbed a two-goal lead, it became apparent Sabres goalie Michael Houser wouldn’t enjoy a warm homecoming in Pittsburgh.

After winning his first two NHL games in Buffalo, Houser, 28, became the league’s feel-good story. A victory before about 20 family members and friends watching inside PPG Paints Arena would’ve made the most incredible week of his career even more ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored his team-leading 21st goal Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres settle down after awful start, avert blowout against Rangers

Don Granato likes to joke that he talks about offense much more than defense. But the interim Buffalo Sabres coach, of course, stresses the less glamorous side of hockey.

“Even though I don’t speak of defense a lot, it’s a cornerstone,” Granato said on a Zoom call following Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. “I’ve joked around a little bit I don’t say it, but don’t underestimate how important ... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson and Boston’s Jeremy Lauzon battle Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ awful power play costs them in loss to Bruins: ‘It’s frustrating’

BUFFALO – At least the Sabres have started drawing penalties. At various times over the past two months, simply getting a man advantage was an accomplishment.

In Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, the Sabres enjoyed five power plays. In Tuesday’s 2-0 setback to the Bruins, they had six.

The Sabres have consistently moved their feet and played aggressively to force the Bruins into taking infractions.

They just can’t convert their opportunities. They’re zero ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner enjoyed perhaps his best game this season Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rally to stun Flyers; Don Granato making strong case to keep job

On Sunday afternoon, Don Granato said the Buffalo Sabres’ belief they could roar back and win was stronger and more collective than in previous games. The interim coach could feel it up and down the bench.

“More confident speak, less emotional speak,” Granato said after the Sabres rallied to stun the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres, who ended their 18-game winless skid March 31, possessed little or no confidence just a ... Read the full article

New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Buffalo’s Brandon Montour battle in front of goalie Linus Ullmark on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres battle back against Devils, still lose: ‘We just didn’t have it’

BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.

They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.

But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.

While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski played his first NHL game in more than four years on Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Dustin Tokarski shines in relief of injured Carter Hutton, Sabres still lose

After playing his first NHL game in more than four years, Buffalo Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski allowed himself a moment to reflect on his journey back to the big leagues.

Tokarski, who played five playoff games for the Montreal Canadiens in 2014, hadn’t experienced any NHL action since Oct. 26, 2016.

Over the past few seasons, Tokarski, 31, quietly rebuilt his career, morphing into one of the AHL’s premier netminders.

So Tokarski’s strong 33-save effort ... Read the full article

Ralph Krueger’s Sabres have suffered a stunning decline. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Changes could be coming to Sabres: ‘Guys expect something’

Everything was set up nicely Tuesday for the Buffalo Sabres to end their marathon losing steak.

In the New Jersey Devils, the hapless Sabres faced another reeling team they have earned three of their six wins against this season.

The Devils, who also endured a long COVID-19 pause last month, had 11 lost straight games at Prudential Center. Overall, they had dropped four straight contests and 12 of their last 14.

But the Sabres, who ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has played three straight games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt developing into dependable forward

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger noticed it right away this season. Over the year winger Casey Mittelstadt spent away from the Sabres, he had matured.

Mittelstadt’s 36-game stint in the minors last year and the COVID-19 layoff offered him a chance to revamp his body and mind. He arrived at training camp determined to earn back the spot he had lost.

“His attitude from the get-go was different this year,” Krueger said on a Zoom ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored two goals Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose shootout to Flyers, return to Buffalo in crisis

Now what happens? The hapless Sabres completed the road trip from hell and returned to Buffalo following Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout loss, a game in which they twice enjoyed a two-goal lead over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sabres, who went 0-4-1 on the trip, have today off before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Will Ralph Krueger still be their coach on Thursday?

Right now, the Sabres are enduring one of the roughest stretches in franchise history. They’ve ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hadn’t scored a goal since Feb. 29, 2020. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Jeff Skinner finally scores, but Sabres lose seventh straight: ‘Not a fun time’

As their three-game set against the New York Islanders mercifully neared its end Sunday afternoon, the hapless Buffalo Sabres finally started displaying some signs of life.

After falling behind 3-0, winger Jeff Skinner’s first goal since Feb. 29, 2020 jumpstarted the Sabres 5:41 into the third period. Defenseman Colin Miller’s goal at 9:35 moved them within one.

Suddenly, the Sabres were pushing for the tying score inside Nassau Coliseum. And then a sequence that sums ... Read the full article