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

Don Granato has coached the Sabres three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Everything has gone wrong for Sabres in chaotic season

Ninety minutes before his NHL head coaching debut, Kevyn Adams was more focused on stepping behind the bench than trying to process the chaos that has transpired in his first season as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

“I can’t even really get into all that,” Adams said on a Zoom call prior to the Sabres’ 16th consecutive loss, a 4-0 setback to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Can you blame Adams? The season from hell refuses to let ... Read the full article

Don Granato took over the Sabres last week. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato, Matt Ellis enter COVID-19 protocol; Kevyn Adams to coach Sabres

Interim Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato and assistant Matt Ellis have entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and will be unavailable for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced late this afternoon. General manager Kevyn Adams will coach the team.

Granato and Ellis are self-isolating, according to the team. Adams said they’re asymptomatic. Entering COVID-19 protocol doesn’t mean the person has tested positive.

The coaches, of course, were in close contact with the players, ... 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

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played eight games with Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for first taste of NHL

If injured Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark keeps progressing, he could play this week, perhaps as soon as tonight. So Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first taste of the NHL might be brief.

Still, spending just a day or two with the Sabres, even on the taxi squad as their third goalie, should be a significant step for Luukkonen’s development.

“The more time a prospect can get around (the NHL), the easier it becomes for them to associate, ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin has scored just one goal this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to make lineup changes, scratch Cody Eakin

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin, who has scored just one goal in 26 games this season, an empty-netter, will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Rasmus Asplund, who hasn’t played since Feb. 25, will replace Eakin between Tobias Rieder and Kyle Okposo.

Eakin’s penalty-killing prowess has helped the Sabres improve from 30th last season to fifth this year. His 57.5 faceoff percentage ranks first among Sabres who have taken at ... Read the full article