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

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

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

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

Craig Anderson has already surpassed last season’s start total. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Craig Anderson’s hot start no surprise to Don Granato

Right away this season, Sabres coach Don Granato learned why goalie Craig Anderson has enjoyed such remarkable longevity.

“On Day One when I saw him in shape and as serious and intent as he was, that’s all I needed to see,” Granato said of the 40-year-old, who’s beginning his first season in Buffalo. “Nothing surprised me after that.”

Forget that Anderson is the NHL’s oldest goalie and third-oldest player, trailing only defenseman Zdeno Chara (44) ... 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

Cody Eakin has enjoyed a strong start this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose Cody Eakin to injury; Mattias Samuelsson nearing return

BUFFALO – Sabres center Cody Eakin, who crashed feet-first into the net during Wednesday’s practice, will miss at least the next two games, coach Don Granato said Thursday.

Following games tonight against the Boston Bruins and Saturday versus the New Jersey Devils, Granato said Eakin will be day-to-day. The Sabres also play Monday and next Thursday.

“What we’re gauging is probably the later game,” Granato said of Thursday’s road contest against the Anaheim Ducks.... Read the full article