Craig Anderson played in two outdoor games before he came to Buffalo. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Craig Anderson to start; Buffalo to make lineup change

HAMILTON, Ont. – Having already played in two outdoor games, Buffalo Sabres goalie Craig Anderson understands the unique energy fans often bring to the huge venues.

“I think everyone was 25 beers deep,” Anderson joked following Saturday’s practice at Tim Hortons Field.

As expected, Sabres coach Don Granato said Anderson, 40, will start this afternoon’s Heritage Classic against the Toronto Maple Leafs.... Read the full article

The Sabres salute the crowd following Thursday’s 3-1 win over Vegas. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin on Thursday’s wild atmosphere: ‘It was unreal’

BUFFALO – It wasn’t just ex-captain Jack Eichel that had the 12,437 fans at KeyBank Center going bonkers throughout Thursday’s wild 3-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights.

The tight, gritty game featured suspect officiating that drew the ire of the season-high crowd throughout the memorable night. There were also two fights in the intense affair between teams that meet just twice a season.

The Sabres have been playing before the smallest crowds in franchise ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald has played 21 NHL games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Fitzgerald, young defensemen taking over blue line

BUFFALO – In Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, five of the six defensemen the Sabres utilized were 25 or younger.

The graybeard of the group, Robert Hagg, 27, has played all of 282 NHL games.

The rest of the blue line consisted of neophytes. Only one other defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has played more than 200 big league contests.

The Sabres dressed two rookies – Casey Fitzgerald, 25, and Mattias Samuelsson, who turns ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju has missed the last six games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Henri Jokiharju, other injured players close to returning

BUFFALO – Defenseman Henri Jokiharju and some other injured Sabres could return for tonight’s home game against Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights, coach Don Granato said.

Jokiharju, out the last six games with a lower-body injury, practiced Wednesday in his regular spot beside defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Meanwhile, winger Zemgus Girgensons, out the last 16 games with a lower-body injury, skated on a line of extras with center Mark Jankowski and Anders Bjork inside ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart has kept producing in Florida. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Sam Reinhart back in Buffalo thriving with Panthers

BUFFALO – In his six years here, ex-Sabres winger Sam Reinhart never experienced anything like this season. His playoff-bound Florida Panthers have established themselves as a Stanley Cup contender.

The Panthers, the NHL’s highest-scoring team, ranked fourth in the league entering Monday’s 6-1 win over the Sabres. They’re so deep that Reinhart, who spent most of his tenure in Buffalo as a first-liner, now skates on the third trio.

After more than 500 regular-season appearances, ... Read the full article

Los Angeles goalie Cal Petersen watches the action in Sunday’s win over Buffalo. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres experience ‘playoff hockey’ in loss to Kings

BUFFALO – For one game at least, the Sabres got a small taste of playoff hockey, playing a lock-it-down, grind-it-out affair against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings, one of the NHL’s biggest surprises this season, stifled the Sabres all afternoon, limiting scoring chances and showcasing rigid structure. When the visitors grabbed a 1-0 lead late in the second period, they were content with sitting on it.

“They know if we keep it 1-0, we ... Read the full article

Vinnie Hinostroza has missed the last 18 games. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Cody Eakin injured; Vinnie Hinostroza expected to return Sunday

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin suffered an undisclosed injury in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild and missed this morning’s practice at LECOM Harborcenter.

Coach Don Granato said Eakin, who was undergoing X-rays, hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Kings.

“We will know more in a couple hours,” Granato said of Eakin’s injury.

... Read the full article

John Hayden skates off the ice following one of his fights this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: John Hayden thriving in gritty fourth-line role

BUFFALO – Barring injury, winger John Hayden will establish a new career high in games played later this month. After bouncing around the NHL, often as a spare forward, the Yale product has earned regular duty throughout most his first season with the Sabres.

Hayden, 27, has thrived under Don Granato, a coach he knows well from their days together at the U.S. National Team Development Program and later with the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Donny’s made ... Read the full article

Cody Eakin ended a 33-game goal drought Sunday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Slow start dooms Sabres in loss to Stars: ‘Have to keep plowing ahead’

At this point, as the losses pile up – Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 setback was the Buffalo Sabres’ sixth straight in regulation – they need to find positives and signs of development within their games.

In Friday’s 5-3 loss in St. Louis, the Sabres could take some solace in the tenacity they showcased while arguably outplaying the Blues, one of the NHL’s heavyweights.

What about Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Arena?

Well, ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson spent 10 seasons in Ottawa. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Craig Anderson ready to face Senators; Casey Mittelstadt out again

BUFFALO – For seven seasons, Sabres goalie Craig Anderson bounced around the NHL and minors, patiently waiting for an opportunity that might never materialize.

Anderson, 40, was property of five NHL teams during that uncertain stretch, six if you count two stints with the Chicago Blackhawks. The American once spent four days with the St. Louis Blues when Sabres coach Don Granato was a first-year assistant in 2005-06.

Then in 2009-10, Anderson seized his first ... Read the full article