Dustin Tokarski played 13 games for Buffalo last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dustin Tokarski to start; J-J Peterka, Jack Quinn earn another look

BUFFALO – Very quietly, Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski has enjoyed a stellar training camp, allowing just one goal in nearly 53 minutes of preseason action.

Tokarski, 32, has outplayed newcomer Aaron Dell in the competition for the backup job behind Craig Anderson.

Tokarski will start tonight’s road exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins before Dell relieves him. Another strong outing by Tokarski could cement a roster spot.

Earlier today, the Sabres sent top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to the Rochester Americans.

Tokarski was a pleasant surprise for the Sabres last season, compiling a .904 save percentage in 13 games, his first NHL appearances since 2016.

“He’s competitive,” Sabres coach Don Granato said of Tokarski. “He doesn’t quit. You see it every drill in practice. He’s a fighter and it’s awesome to see. He did a great job for us last year coming into a tough situation and he’s came here with the approach of, he’s got to earn every minute. So he’s earned that tonight.”

The Sabres, fresh off Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, will field a lineup with established talent and prospects tonight in Pittsburgh.

Newcomer Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who was claimed off waivers from the Washington Capitals on Monday, skated at left wing this morning beside center Arttu Ruotsalainen and Victor Olofsson inside KeyBank Center.

“Because of paperwork we don’t know if he’ll be in the lineup, but he’s going to be with us and we hope he’s in the lineup,” Granato said.

J-J Peterka, Jack Quinn and Brett Murray – three of the Sabres’ top forward prospects – will all dress . Peterka, 19, scored a nifty goal Monday.

Check back later for more on Jonsson-Fjallby.

Here is the rest of tonight’s lineup. Players in bold played Monday.

Forwards (from left to right)

Murray, Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn

Drake Caggiula, Tage Thompson, Peterka

Anders Bjork, Cody Eakin and John Hayden

Defense

The only clear pair this morning was Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju. Jacob Bryson, Will Butcher, Casey Fitzgerald, Colin Miller and Mark Pysyk also skated.

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