BUFFALO – The Sabres are finally playing meaningful late-season games.
Of course, the outcomes won’t affect the standings. Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins officially eliminated them from the postseason for a record-tying 10th consecutive season.
Still, the final weeks of this campaign will shape the Sabres’ future. Interim coach Don Granato has handed the keys over to some of his young players, and so far, they’ve seized their opportunities.
On Saturday, for ... Read the full article
When the final horn sounded and Dustin Tokarski earned his first NHL victory since 2015, the Buffalo Sabres goalie stayed in his crease and pointed his glove to rafters.
Moments later, Tokarski’s excited teammates assembled in front of him, and one by one they each congratulated him, giving him some kind words and a tap on the mask.
“It was pretty incredible, to be honest,” an emotional Tokarski said following Thursday’s 5-2 win over the ... Read the full article
In his three-year career, Rasmus Dahlin has never experienced the NHL postseason. But in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres defenseman received a taste of what heavy playoff hockey feels like.
“I haven’t been in a playoff game, but it didn’t feel like a regular-season game,” said Dahlin, whose goal 11:53 into the third period tied the game at 2.
Tuesday’s game inside TD Garden was the Sabres’ most physical ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In his first 12 games as interim coach, Don Granato’s most telling accomplishment has been his ability to unlock potential from several of the Sabres’ young players who struggled to stay in the lineup earlier this season.
Consider that in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals, center Casey Mittelstadt, defenseman Henri Jokiharju and winger Tage Thompson scored for the Sabres inside KeyBank Center.
All three players are 23 or under and spent ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – A few weeks ago, an early two-goal deficit like the Sabres experienced Thursday against the New Jersey Devils would’ve been insurmountable.
They would’ve folded and gone down meekly.
But over the past week or so, the Sabres have morphed into, well, a somewhat normal team. Yes, they’re still one of the NHL’s lightweights, but they’re much more competitive.
While Thursday’s 6-3 loss inside KeyBank Center ended their two-game winning streak and five-game point ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Rasmus Asplund said his first taste of the NHL last season exhausted him mentally. The Swede couldn’t let go of what transpired during games. He even had trouble falling asleep.
“I felt last year that I started off my first five games really good but then I got really tired mentally,” Asplund said on a Zoom call following Wednesday’s optional practice.
So in the offseason, Asplund, 23, began developing what he ... Read the full article
Tyce Thompson said he was speechless. Not only will the New Jersey Devils forward be making his NHL debut tonight, he gets to do it against his brother, Tage, a Buffalo Sabres winger.
“It’s the best way you could draw up a debut,” Tyce Thompson said on a Zoom call prior to tonight’s game. “To be able to play against my brother just makes it that much more special.”
Tyce Thompson, 21, signed his ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In barely a week, the Sabres have transformed from the NHL’s laughingstock into a team that plays a fast, active brand of hockey.
Right now, they’re creating offense, limiting chances against and – believe it or not – are pretty exciting to watch. They look nothing like the hapless team that just endured an embarrassing 18-game winless streak.
Interim coach Don Granato has the Sabres playing to their strengths and feeling confident. After ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – There was no wild celebration. Not even a fist pump.
When Sabres winger Steven Fogarty scored his first NHL goal on Wednesday, he reacted as if he had done it 100 times. A smiling Fogarty simply raised his stick, pointed to defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and shared a few fist bumps with his teammates.
By the time he started skating back to the bench, his grin had disappeared.
“It just happened so quick and ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski left the bench following winger Tage Thompson’s tying goal with 3.6 seconds left, a feel-good story was in the works.
The fatigued Sabres chased Thursday’s game over the final 40 minutes of regulation, generating little offense. They had no business being in the contest against the New York Rangers.
Only Tokarski’s splendid goaltending – he made a career-high 44 saves – kept it close.
Snatching the unlikely win ... Read the full article