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

Mark Pysyk has played all 12 games this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Veteran Mark Pysyk playing prominent role again for Sabres: ‘He wants more’

BUFFALO – Mark Pysyk hasn’t enjoyed a prominent role like this in years. For two seasons, the Sabres defenseman moved around and out of the lineup, often moonlighting as a winger when he wasn’t scratched.

Pysyk, 29, signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return to the Sabres, in part because he wanted to play defense regularly again. So far, he has played all 12 games this season on the blue line, averaging 18 minutes, 20 ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski battled deflections from Washington on Monday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres battle back after slow start, fall to Capitals: ‘I liked the fight’

The Buffalo Sabres’ torrid start is starting to feel like a distant memory. Monday’s 5-3 road loss to the Washington Capitals was their fifth consecutive setback.

On Oct. 28, after their 4-3 overtime victory against the Anaheim Ducks, the Sabres ranked second in the Atlantic Division, just three points behind the Florida Panthers. Today, they stand fifth in the division, nine points behind the first-place Panthers.

On Monday at Capital One Arena, the Sabres fell ... Read the full article

Alex Tuch joined Buffalo on Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Alex Tuch thrilled to join Sabres: ‘Buffalo, it’s gonna be like none other’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Alex Tuch couldn’t stop smiling as he recalled those dynamic post-lockout teams of 2006 and 2007. He kept rattling off players, seemingly trying to name the entire roster.

As a child growing up in Baldwinsville, Tuch, who was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights in Thursday’s blockbuster Jack Eichel trade, loved the Sabres.

“I grew up next to Tim Connolly, who played here for years,” Tuch said prior to Saturday’s ... 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

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

Rasmus Dahlin has been earning lots of ice time. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin maturing, responding to adversity within games

BUFFALO – Early in Friday’s 4-1 loss, Brad Marchand pressured Rasmus Dahlin behind the net, forcing him to cough up the puck. A second later, the Bruins star knocked the Sabres defenseman down and fed linemate David Pastrnak for the game’s first goal.

The turnover was one of a few gaffes Dahlin, 21, committed during a rough first period. But the Swede settled down and ended up playing a game-high 25 minutes, 4 seconds against ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski has earned Don Granato’s trust. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Dustin Tokarski establishes himself as trusted option for Sabres

As coach Don Granato watches Dustin Tokarski move around his crease aggressively challenging shooters, he sees a goalie comfortable in the Sabres’ system.

Tokarski, 32, has quickly established himself as a trusted option for Granato, stopping 57 of the 60 shots he has faced through two starts.

“He’s reading where and when and how shots are coming,” Granato said on a Zoom call following Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. “… When ... 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