Aaron Dell also started Sunday and relieved Dustin Tokarski on Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Aaron Dell to start for slumping Dustin Tokarski

BUFFALO – In his last two starts, Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski has compiled an 8.66 goals-against average and a .743 save percentage in just under 61 minutes.

Sabres coach Don Granato, of course, yanked him from both games.

In the first outing, Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Calgary Flames, Tokarski received little help, often getting abandoned by his teammates. But in Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tokarski wasn’t his normal self, allowing ... 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 knows he must help his current group of players grow together. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Don Granato wants to create stability by limiting lineup changes

BUFFALO – Through the first 18 games this season, Sabres coach Don Granato has exercised patience rarely seen in these parts over the last decade, often fielding the same lineup while keeping his forward lines and defense pairs intact.

Granato, whose Sabres were 2-7-1 in their last 10 games entering Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center, said he understands the reflex is to “change everything” when a team battles adversity.... Read the full article

Aaron Dell has played two games for Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

After slow start, Sabres goalie Aaron Dell beginning to find groove

BUFFALO – Since the start of last season, Sabres goalie Aaron Dell has played just 13 games, including nine in the NHL. The veteran has often struggled in his limited action, failing to recapture what made him one of the league’s top backups a few years ago.

After a shaky preseason in which he quickly lost the No. 2 job, Dell allowed a fluky goal minutes into his NHL season debut last Saturday, losing sight ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski (31) loves being around his Buffalo teammates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Craig Anderson, Dustin Tokarski giving Sabres some of NHL’s best goaltending

BUFFALO – Fresh off a scintillating, career-best effort, Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski will likely earn another start tonight, his sixth nod in the last seven games.

Tokarski, 32, has performed superbly handling the load for injured goalie Craig Anderson, helping the Sabres emerge from a five-game winless skid.

The 13-year pro has won two straight starts entering tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at KeyBank Center, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and a .963 ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski made a career-high 45 saves Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski performs brilliantly in win: ‘It was Ticker’s show’

PITTSBURGH – When the Buffalo Sabres signed Dustin Tokarski last year, he was expected to offer them depth, most likely in the minors. He hadn’t played an NHL game since a brief relief appearance in 2016. He hadn’t earned a win since 2015.

Few figured Tokarski, a decorated AHL netminder, would receive significant action with the Sabres, let alone become one of their most important players. But incredibly, Tokarski, 32, is starting to emerge as ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has missed the last 13 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt progressing from injury; Victor Olofsson still hurt

BUFFALO – Center Casey Mittelstadt is the closest of the four injured Sabres to returning to game action, coach Don Granato said.

Mittelstadt, 22, has missed the last 13 contests recovering from an upper-body injury he suffered Oct. 14, opening night.

“With Mittsy, it’s still progressing, which is good news,” Granato said following this morning’s practice inside KeyBank Center. “That might mean it’s less than a couple weeks or around there (until he returns) if ... Read the full article

Aaron Dell endured a rough preseason before Buffalo waived him. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres could turn to goalie Aaron Dell against Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – A few days into training camp, Sabres coach Don Granato acknowledged that if the season started tomorrow, goalies Craig Anderson and Aaron Dell would rank first and second on the depth chart.

Dell, who might start tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, had a leg up in the competition with Dustin Tokarski for the backup job. But in the preseason, Dell posted ghastly numbers – a 5.57 goals-against average and an .838 save ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has missed the last four games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Victor Olofsson to miss another game; Aaron Dell could face Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Winger Victor Olofsson’s soft tissue injury will likely sideline him for the fifth consecutive game Friday against the Edmonton Oilers, Sabres coach Don Granato said.

Olofsson, 26, did not practice Wednesday. When the Swede missed his first game Oct. 28 against the San Jose Sharks, the Sabres believed his absence would be short.

Granato said when the Sabres returned from their four-game western road trip, imaging told them Olofsson is still considered day ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen scored at the net again Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Arttu Ruotsalainen developing into different type of scoring threat

BUFFALO – In trying to evolve and score more goals, Sabres center Arttu Ruotsalainen has embraced a saying from his native Finland.

Ruotsalainen, 24, understands he can’t simply rely on his lethal shot from the perimeter. What worked in Europe and during his brief stint in the AHL won’t translate to success in the NHL.

To consistently score, the 5-foot-9, 187-pound rookie knows he must go to the net and battle for “dirty goals.”

“We ... Read the full article