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

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

Eric Staal left Thursday’s game after taking an elbow to the jaw. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal to be game-time decision against Capitals

Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal, who left Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals after getting elbowed in the jaw, will be a game-time decision for tonight’s rematch, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Update: Staal will play tonight.

If Staal can’t play, Kruger said newcomer Riley Sheahan will be moved to center. Sheahan played right wing beside center Curtis Lazar and Jeff Skinner in the season opener.

“We’ve got a backup plan,” Krueger said on a ... 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

The Sabres acquired Eric Staal to center their second line. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Eric Staal leaves loss to Capitals after hit to jaw

BUFFALO – Sabres center Eric Staal left Thursday’s 6-4 season-opening loss to the Washington Capitals after Nic Dowd elbowed him in the jaw.

Coach Ralph Krueger had no update following the game on Staal, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 16 to center the second line.

“I saw what you saw,” Krueger said on a Zoom call. “We’re just assessing him. It’s one of those where it’s definitely in a day-to-day status ... 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

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

Jeff Skinner (pictured) was recently moved beside center Curtis Lazar. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ralph Krueger confident Jeff Skinner will bounce back for Sabres

Two days after moving Jeff Skinner down the lineup, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he’s confident he and his staff can get the veteran winger in what he called “a good place.”

Skinner, 28, began training camp skating at left wing on the second line beside center Eric Staal and Sam Reinhart. But Krueger recently moved him down the lineup with center Curtis Lazar and newcomer Riley Sheahan.

Skinner struggled last year in ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner (pictured) practiced with Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan on Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres switch up lines, move Tage Thompson up, Jeff Skinner down

After a 10-month layoff, the Buffalo Sabres play 10 games in an 18-day stretch, starting with Thursday’s season opener against the Washington Capitals.

That includes three back-to-back sets. The early stretch will be rigorous and likely test the Sabres’ depth. They’re going to have to roll four lines.

“Right now, we need to be a good four-line team early in the season,” Krueger said on a Zoom call Friday.

So Krueger, who pretty much kept ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt finished last season in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt focused on making Sabres after having ‘blast’ with Amerks

On the surface, Casey Mittelstadt’s 36-game run with the Rochester Americans last season looks a little underwhelming.

In his first stint in the minors, Mittelstadt, 22, never morphed into a dominant AHL presence or forced his way back to the Buffalo Sabres. The center compiled nine goals, 25 points and a poor minus-15 rating – hardly numbers you might expect from an eighth overall pick with 114 games of NHL experience.

But Mittelstadt, who was ... Read the full article