Jeff Skinner recorded three points Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres roar back, fall to Maple Leafs; Jeff Skinner enjoys best game in years

BUFFALO – There were at least three points in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs – the fluky first-period score and two-goal deficits in the second and third – the Sabres would’ve never recovered from in the not-so-distant past.

Each time, the Sabres roared back, tying it. When they knotted the game at 4, scoring twice in a 59-second span during midway through the third period, it felt like they would earn at ... 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

Tage Thompson was switched to center this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson starting to realize potential: ‘Grown tremendously’

BUFFALO – Sabres coach Don Granato could see Tage Thompson possessed confidence. It was just that the talented center believed he would eventually reach his potential.

Granato wanted Thompson, 24, to understand the opportunity he had right now.

“I talked to him a lot in the last year about I know you are confident about success, but that confidence is somewhere off in the future, I’m going to be able to become the player ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson could return soon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres make roster moves; Victor Olofsson close to return

BUFFALO – Goalie Craig Anderson is day to day with an upper-body injury, so the Sabres this morning recalled Aaron Dell from the Rochester Americans.

So, does that mean Dustin Tokarski, who has performed splendidly in his four starts this season, will play tonight against the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center? Sabres coach Don Granato said this morning he hasn’t decided on his starting goalie.

Update: Tokarski is starting tonight.

So far, Tokarski has ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner scored twice Tuesday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose aggression, fall to Sharks; Victor Olofsson close to returning

As the Buffalo Sabres roared out to a surprising start this season, they established a simple, straightforward identity by playing so aggressively.

Given their lack of star power, that style has become their bread and butter. If they get away from it, well, losses like Tuesday’s 5-3 setback to the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center will happen.

The Sabres faced a Sharks team ravaged by COVID-19 and ripe to be exploited. Seven players and ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson has scored three goals in the last three games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres start fast but lose to Kings; Don Granato makes changes

Buffalo Sabres winger Victor Olofsson’s second-period goal Sunday afternoon felt like a back-breaker against the Los Angeles Kings.

Barely four minutes after winger Rasmus Asplund’s short-handed score, Olofsson capitalized on Jacob Bryson’s blocked shot, beating goalie Jonathan Quick from the slot after the defenseman poked the puck to him.

At the 7:39 mark, the Sabres led 2-0. The Kings, having won the previous afternoon, should’ve had less energy than the Sabres.

But Olofsson’s third goal ... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund scored two goals Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Overtime win against Ducks shows Sabres might be special group

In the waning seconds of Thursday’s overtime, Buffalo Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund looked up ice, saw Victor Olofsson had room to maneuver at the blue line and fed his best friend a stretch pass.

As Asplund skated to the right circle, Olofsson cut left into the slot, splitting two Anaheim Ducks defenders before reaching the bottom of the left circle. The dizzying moves forced goalie Anthony Stolarz to overcommit, and as Olofsson fell to the ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson will start tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato wants Sabres to be true to identity: ‘A lot of potential there’

BUFFALO – A lot has changed since the Sabres last faced the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 31, 2019.

There was a global pandemic. The Sabres changed regimes, plummeted to the bottom of the NHL again and hired a new coach. The Lightning, meanwhile, won two Stanley Cups.

The Lightning, the Sabres’ Atlantic Division rival, have become the NHL’s bellwether franchise.

If the Sabres want to go anywhere, they have to knock off the Lightning.... Read the full article

Buffalo is John Hayden’s fourth NHL team. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres excited to see John Hayden’s gritty presence for first time

BUFFALO – In his four full NHL seasons, Sabres winger John Hayden has never played more than 54 games, meaning he’s used to sitting for a week.

During the Sabres’ 3-0 start, Hayden, 26, has served as the extra forward, quietly preparing for an opportunity coach Don Granato said would come.

With center Cody Eakin injured, Hayden will be making his season debut tonight against the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center.... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund enjoyed a strong finish last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Confident Rasmus Asplund thriving in bigger role with Sabres

BUFFALO – The genesis of winger Rasmus Asplund’s arrival as an everyday NHL player can be traced to Sabres coach Don Granato’s promotion last season.

For two months, Asplund had shuttled between the active roster and taxi squad, earning sporadic duty – just five of the first 29 games – during the Sabres’ miserable start. He even returned to the minors for three contests.

Then days after Granato took over, he inserted Asplund, who quickly ... Read the full article