Casey Mittelstadt has missed the last 21 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dustin Tokarski leaves practice early; Casey Mittelstadt on track to play

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski left this morning’s practice early and was being evaluated after taking a shot in the facial area, coach Don Granato said.

The Sabres, who leave this afternoon for a two-game road trip, have one other healthy goalie on the roster, Aaron Dell.

Meanwhile, Granato said center Casey Mittelstadt, who suffered an upper-body injury Oct. 14, is on track to play Thursday against the Florida Panthers. Mittelstadt practiced between Zemgus ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch joined Buffalo on Nov. 4. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt takes another step toward return; Alex Tuch joins Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato acknowledged that, yes, he has thought about what his lineup might look like when some of his injured players get healthy.

So Granato knows where he could put center Casey Mittelstadt and winger Alex Tuch, both of whom skated with the Sabres this morning, when they’re healthy. It was the first session with the Sabres for Tuch, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery.

Mittelstadt, who had his first contact ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson was hurt Nov. 2. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres concerned about goalie Craig Anderson’s lingering injury

BUFFALO – After Craig Anderson suffered an upper-body injury Nov. 2, the Sabres said he was day to day. But the veteran goalie, whose absence has become glaring as the rebuilding team keeps struggling, is still sidelined.

“Because of our initial report, based on where we’re at, it is a concern,” Sabres coach Don Granato said on a Zoom call this morning. “Obviously, we didn’t feel he would be out this long and it has ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt hasn’t played since opening night. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Casey Mittelstadt joins Sabres on ice, finally close return: ‘A huge step’

BUFFALO – After a 17-game absence, center Casey Mittelstadt joined his teammates this morning, donning a gold non-contact jersey and skating with the Sabres as they prepared for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.

Now, when will Mittelstadt, who suffered an upper-body injury opening night, be able to play again? He won’t return tonight.

The Sabres also play Friday, Saturday and Monday. Practice time is limited. They’re scheduled to have Thursday off.

“We haven’t really ... Read the full article

Don Granato believes it’s important to have clarity with his players. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato’s accessibility to Sabres players ‘a huge asset’

BUFFALO – In his early days behind the bench in junior hockey and in the ECHL, Sabres coach Don Granato was one-man show. He had no assistants to help him.

“So I had to be close to players,” Granato said prior to Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames at KeyBank Center. “I had to get a feel for the team and a beat on the team.”

Right away, Granato learned he must separate the ... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin battles Vancouver’s Juho Lammikko on Oct. 19. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Mark Pysyk helping Rasmus Dahlin: ‘He’s like, ‘Dude, relax’

BUFFALO – This season, Rasmus Dahlin’s fourth in the NHL, the Sabres defenseman has been trying to calm down a little.

Earlier in his career, Dahlin’s competitiveness often overwhelmed him, and any mistake he made stayed with him.

“This is probably the first year I’ve been thinking about it more and more, so it’s a learning process,” Dahlin said after the Sabres prepared for tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at KeyBank Center.

Dahlin, ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons is expected to play tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Zemgus Girgensons misses Sabres’ pregame skate

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons missed this morning’s pregame skate but coach Don Granato expects him to play tonight against the Penguins.

Rookie Brett Murray filled in for Girgensons at left wing beside center Cody Eakin and Kyle Okposo and also on the power play.

The Sabres recalled Murray from the Rochester Americans on Monday so they could take an extra forward on the road. Murray played one game during the Sabres’ recent ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens had scored just one goal this season entering Friday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens scores twice in ‘amazing game,’ stops Connor McDavid

BUFFALO – Earlier this week, Sabres coach Don Granato sat down with Dylan Cozens and watched some video clips. When they finished, he asked the second-year center if he felt ready to shadow Connor McDavid, hockey’s biggest superstar.

“I watched his body language,” Granato said after Cozens starred in Friday’s 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers, which ended a five-game winless skid. “If his body language was different, he wouldn’t have got that matchup. I ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork has scored three goals this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Gritty goal shows Anders Bjork starting to find game

BUFFALO – For a few weeks, Sabres winger Anders Bjork often looked invisible. The American couldn’t score. He dropped down the lineup, losing ice time.

“Bjork was searching for his game and he lost a feel of what he did,” Sabres coach Don Granato said.

So Granato said the Sabres let Bjork, 25, experience that rough phase before he and his staff started working with him more often and pinpointing things in his game.

“(We) ... Read the full article

Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl is a lethal scorer. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Leon Draisaitl as dynamic as Connor McDavid; Sabres to make one change

BUFFALO – Forget about Connor McDavid for a moment. The Edmonton Oilers have a player with more points than the superstar. Through 12 games, Leon Draisaitl has amassed a whopping 12 goals and 26 points, both NHL highs.

So far, McDavid, 24, has scored nine goals and 24 points.

Draisaitl, of course, is usually overshadowed by McDavid, a center widely considered hockey’s most dynamic talent.

But coach Don Granato, whose Sabres face the Oilers tonight ... Read the full article