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

Robert Hagg (left) and Mark Pysyk have quickly developed a friendship. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres defensemen Robert Hagg, Mark Pysyk thriving together as partners

BUFFALO – Sabres defensemen Robert Hagg and Mark Pysyk form a no-frills tandem. The newcomers’ simplicity is perhaps their greatest strength.

“We try to move the puck up north as quick as we can and try to close plays in the D-zone as quick as we can,” Hagg said following Wednesday’s practice at KeyBank Center. “I think that’s why we’ve been successful so far.”

That style, of course, can be a tad boring. Still, it ... 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

Don Granato knows the level of play will improve around the NHL. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Don Granato knows stiff challenges await Sabres

BUFFALO – Coach Don Granato understands in the big picture, the Sabres’ strong start means little. Sure, it’s nice to begin the season 2-0 at home. But they have 80 games left, starting with tonight’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center.

Early-season hockey often lacks structure as teams struggle to grasp their systems. In the coming weeks, the level of play will rise significantly.

“It was really nice to start at home and ... Read the full article

Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson made his NHL debut in 2002-03. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

At 40, Sabres goalie Craig Anderson earns remarkable achievement

BUFFALO – Nine months ago, as Craig Anderson’s 40th birthday approached, it appeared his long career could be over. Eventually, the veteran goalie parlayed a tryout with the Washington Capitals into a one-year contract.

Still, Anderson was their third netminder, spending most of the season on the taxi squad and playing just six games, including two playoff appearances.

Tonight, Anderson will be the Sabres’ opening night starter against the Montreal Canadiens, a remarkable late-career ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson might be a first-liner for Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to dress lineup with established talent against Penguins

BUFFALO – Ten Sabres – much of their established talent – will be making their preseason debut tonight at KeyBank Center.

So some of the line combinations and defense pairings the Sabres will be showcasing against the Pittsburgh Penguins could be utilized in the regular season.

Top center Casey Mittelstadt pivoted Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson this morning. On defense, Rasmus Dahlin skated beside Henri Jokiharju, his partner late last season.

Coach Don Granato said ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk spent his first four NHL seasons in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Mark Pysyk enjoying return to Sabres: ‘Going to be a fun team to watch’

BUFFALO – Sometimes, Mark Pysyk said, it seems like he only left the Sabres a week ago. Other times, however, he acknowledged it feels like it has been a long time.

The Sabres, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return, left in 2016. Only one teammate from the affable defenseman’s first run here, center Zemgus Girgensons, is still with the team.

“I see him walking around, the way he plays, his body takes a ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel’s status for the season is uncertain. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

In addition to Jack Eichel, Sabres have plenty of intriguing storylines

When Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams addresses the media this morning, questions about injured captain Jack Eichel’s uncertain status will dominate the season-opening news conference.

Did Eichel pass his training camp physical Wednesday? Will the ultra-talented center have surgery to repair his herniated disc? Does he have a future in Buffalo?

Throughout the offseason, the Sabres remained tight-lipped about Eichel’s neck injury and any plans they have to grant his wish and trade him. But ... Read the full article

Mark Pysyk, shown here with Rochester, began his NHL career in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Mark Pysyk excited for chance to play defense, optimistic about Sabres’ future

Mark Pysyk said the move shocked him. He had played defense his entire career, and the Florida Panthers suddenly wanted to utilize him as a forward.

But Pysyk had become a spare part in the 2019-20 season under new coach Joel Quenneville. Shifting to wing beat the alternative of remaining a healthy scratch.

So Pysyk embraced the change, often skating on the fourth line while moving back to defense as a penalty killer.

“It was ... Read the full article