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

Rasmus Asplund has scored four goals in only 10 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Rasmus Asplund promoted to Sabres’ first line, close to earning regular duty

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund said his first taste of the NHL last season exhausted him mentally. The Swede couldn’t let go of what transpired during games. He even had trouble falling asleep.

“I felt last year that I started off my first five games really good but then I got really tired mentally,” Asplund said on a Zoom call following Wednesday’s optional practice.

So in the offseason, Asplund, 23, began developing what he ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson made his NHL debut in 2017-18. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson excited brother Tyce will make NHL debut against Sabres

Tyce Thompson said he was speechless. Not only will the New Jersey Devils forward be making his NHL debut tonight, he gets to do it against his brother, Tage, a Buffalo Sabres winger.

“It’s the best way you could draw up a debut,” Tyce Thompson said on a Zoom call prior to tonight’s game. “To be able to play against my brother just makes it that much more special.”

Tyce Thompson, 21, signed his ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt scored Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres finally winning again, playing confidently: ‘It’s all come together’

BUFFALO – In barely a week, the Sabres have transformed from the NHL’s laughingstock into a team that plays a fast, active brand of hockey.

Right now, they’re creating offense, limiting chances against and – believe it or not – are pretty exciting to watch. They look nothing like the hapless team that just endured an embarrassing 18-game winless streak.

Interim coach Don Granato has the Sabres playing to their strengths and feeling confident. After ... 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

Dustin Tokarski zeroes in on New York Rangers winger Julien Gauthier on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Dustin Tokarski steals point for Sabres in OT loss: ‘He was spectacular’

BUFFALO – When Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski left the bench following winger Tage Thompson’s tying goal with 3.6 seconds left, a feel-good story was in the works.

The fatigued Sabres chased Thursday’s game over the final 40 minutes of regulation, generating little offense. They had no business being in the contest against the New York Rangers.

Only Tokarski’s splendid goaltending – he made a career-high 44 saves – kept it close.

Snatching the unlikely win ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has moved up the depth chart this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt’s development earns him gig as Sabres’ top center

BUFFALO – Shifting Casey Mittelstadt to center wasn’t simply a result of the hapless Sabres trading Eric Staal or Jack Eichel suffering a lower-body injury.

Yes, injuries and Staal’s departure have decimated the Sabres at center. The four who practiced Tuesday inside KeyBank Center – Mittelstadt, Cody Eakin, Curtis Lazar and Riley Sheahan – have combined to score 10 goals and 25 points this season.

Interim coach Don Granato, whose Sabres host the Philadelphia ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has often been a healthy scratch this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could thrive under interim coach Don Granato

BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.

Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.

Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.

“It’s ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has missed the last 10 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jack Eichel could play again this season; Jacob Bryson day to day

BUFFALO – Sabres captain Jack Eichel, who has missed the last 10 games recovering from an upper-body injury, could play again this season, interim coach Don Granato said.

Granato said he spoke to Eichel late last week.

“He said he felt good, he was feeling better,” Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “I don’t think it would be season-ending. So I know we’re all working to get him back. (I) do not ... Read the full article

Don Granato missed Thursday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis clear COVID-19 protocols, join Sabres in Boston

Interim coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis cleared the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and joined the Buffalo Sabres following Friday’s practice in Boston.

The Sabres announced shortly before Thursday’s 4-0 road loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that Granato, 53, and Ellis, 39, had entered protocol and were self-isolating.

General manager Kevyn Adams filled in for Granato and the Sabres also promoted Rochester Americans coach Seth Appert to fill in for Ellis.... Read the full article