Matt Savoie celebrates a goal in Rochester last Friday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Alex Tuch still battling injury; Matt Savoie to make NHL debut

BUFFALO – As the Sabres convened for their optional morning skate, winger Alex Tuch emerged from the tunnel and joined his teammates on the ice.

But before the session started, Tuch, who’s battling an upper-body injury, left the ice. Coach Don Granato said he’s questionable for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild in KeyBank Center.

“He’s dealing with some soreness that we’re hoping resolves sooner than later,” Granato said this morning. “It’s gotten better.”

Granato ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch has scored three goals in the last two games. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Alex Tuch injured; Matt Savoie could make NHL debut this weekend

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie Matt Savoie subbed for injured winger Alex Tuch during Thursday’s practice, skating alongside center Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner.

So, could Savoie, 19, make his NHL debut tonight against the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center?

Coach Don Granato said the Sabres are “leaning toward using” the youngster this weekend. They also play a road game Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.... Read the full article

Alex Tuch scored twice Saturday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Alex Tuch breaks loose late in Sabres’ win over Maple Leafs; Dylan Cozens misses game with injury

TORONTO – No, it wasn’t quite a piano off Alex Tuch’s back. The Sabres winger had scored this season before his two third-period goals Saturday secured a 6-4 win over the Maple Leafs. He said he believes he had been skating well.

Piano’s too heavy for the expression.

“Monkey more than piano,” said Tuch, bringing the weight he was carrying early this season down about 700 pounds.

Fresh off a breakout 36-goal campaign, Tuch hadn’t ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has compiled eight points in the last four games. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson scoring goals, developing into top penalty killer

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson scored and also earned the primary assists on rookie Brandon Biro’s first NHL goal and the game-winning goal, so understandably, a terrific defensive play he made late in a three-goal win could be overlooked.

But in Wednesday’s 5-2 road victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, Thompson illustrated his growing maturity by thwarting what looked to be an easy power-play goal.

With Thompson, 26, covering the back side of the net, ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has played six NHL games. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Zach Benson to injury, add Brandon Biro, Devon Levi

BUFFALO – The Sabres have lost one rookie to injury and added two to the lineup.

General manager Kevyn Adams said on Tuesday that winger Zach Benson, 18, aggravated a lower-body injury he has been dealing with and will be sidelined week to week.

With a roster spot available, the Sabres recalled forward Brandon Biro from the Rochester Americans. Biro, 25, practiced at right wing Tuesday alongside center Tage Thompson and Jordan Greenway. Coach Don ... Read the full article

Erik Johnson is a mainstay on the penalty kill. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Maturity, newcomer Erik Johnson boost Buffalo’s penalty killing

BUFFALO – Through nine games, the Sabres have mostly utilized the same penalty killers as last season, with one exception. Newcomer Erik Johnson usually jumps over the boards first with defenseman Mattias Samuelsson, offering a stabilizing veteran presence.

So far, Johnson has helped, as the Sabres have killed 89.2 percent of their penalties, which ranked sixth in the NHL entering Monday’s games. Last season, they killed just 73 percent of their penalties, which ranked 28th ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen makes a save Sunday afternoon with teammate Jacob Bryson nearby. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stymies Avs, records first NHL shutout

BUFFALO – Fair or not, the knock on Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is his inability to make big saves at critical times.

In his 50-game career, the Finn hasn’t delivered many of those momentum-changing stops that might preserve a lead or keep a contest tied or within striking distance.

That’s why Luukkonen’s superb save on star Mikko Rantanen with the game tied at 0 early in Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 win holds so much significance.

The ... Read the full article

Devin Cooley, shown here in training camp, began the season in training camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

With Sabres goalie Eric Comrie injured, Devin Cooley earns first NHL recall; Buffalo changes up lines

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Eric Comrie’s lower-body injury will likely sideline him at least few weeks, general manger Kevyn Adams said. Meanwhile, rookie Devon Levi is still recovering from his lower-body injury.

So on Saturday, the Sabres, the same team forced to scratch a healthy goalie four times earlier this season, recalled Devin Cooley on an emergency basis from the Rochester Americans.

Cooley, 26, will back up Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for this afternoon’s game against the ... Read the full article

Montreal’s Juraj Slafkovsky tries to screen Buffalo goalie Eric Comrie on Monday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres outplay Canadiens, still lose: ‘We controlled the play’

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson stood in the dressing room following another loss, visibly agitated, trying to explain what went wrong against the Montreal Canadiens.

In falling 3-1 on Monday to their rebuilding opponent, the Sabres’ underwhelming start officially moved into the concerning category.

Yes, they have 76 games left, starting with tonight’s road contest against the Ottawa Senators. But their 2-4-0 mark has them sharing the Atlantic Division basement with the Florida Panthers. ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen dressed as a backup Monday. ©2023, Miceline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will likely start against Senators

BUFFALO – After playing two consecutive games, Sabres goalie Eric Comrie will likely take a breather tonight in Ottawa, allowing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to make his first start this season.

Sabres coach Don Granato said rookie goalie Devon Levi, who started the first four games, is still nursing a “nagging” lower-body injury and will likely be unavailable against the Senators. Levi, 21, did not skate Monday morning.

“We don’t expect it to be much longer and ... Read the full article