Tage Thompson greets Vinnie Hinostroza after Hinostroza’s second-period goal Sunday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres display growing maturity in win over Maple Leafs at Heritage Classic

HAMILTON, Ont. – If the Buffalo Sabres crack the postseason in the near future, the last four days, punctuated by Sunday afternoon’s 5-2 victory in the Heritage Classic, will be remembered as a significant stretch in their maturation.

Before a capacity, pro-Toronto crowd of 26,119 fans outdoors at chilly Tim Hortons Field, the Sabres scored three third-period goals to down the playoff-bound Maple Leafs.

It was a game, just like Thursday’s 3-1 win over ex-captain ... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin and Toronto’s Auston Matthews battle late Sunday afternoon. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Rasmus Dahlin, Auston Matthews battle at Heritage Classic

HAMILTON, Ont. – After absorbing a vicious cross-check in the neck from Auston Matthews, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin did not need much time to cool off.

“About two minutes in the box,” Dahlin said following Sunday afternoon’s win 5-2 over Matthews’ Toronto Maple Leafs in the Heritage Classic at Tim Hortons Field.

After the Leafs fell behind, they lost their cool in the waning minutes, and Matthews and Dahlin shoved each other near the ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt played in an outdoor game for Team USA as a junior star. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Heritage Classic helps refresh Sabres, ‘brighten things up’

HAMILTON, Ont. – In the midst of another grueling season, the Heritage Classic offers the Buffalo Sabres a refreshing change.

The day-to-day NHL grind has suddenly been interrupted by a once-in-a-lifetime experience for some players. When you play outdoors like the Sabres will this afternoon, you never forget it.

For a weekend, the Sabres can enjoy time in the spotlight and make memories they’ll cherish forever. Their families have joined them, and after Saturday’s chilly ... Read the full article

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

Jacob Bryson scored for the first time in nearly a year. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres throttle Maple Leafs, end losing streak: ‘They got rewarded’

TORONTO – Prior to Wednesday’s 5-1 victory over the Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres had been mired in a season-worst rut, losing six straight games in regulation. For all the optimism they’ve generated at times this year, the cold reality they’re a rebuilding team destined for another lottery pick has been hitting home.

It hardly felt like they’d snap of their funk against the Leafs, one of the NHL’s hottest and most potent teams. The ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt has scored just one goal this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Casey Mittelstadt starting to look better, moves to wing

TORONTO – Casey Mittelstadt admittedly isn’t the most patient guy. Coach Don Granato has often spoken about how the Sabres forward has high expectations for himself.

“Yeah, I’m hard on myself,” Mittelstadt said prior to recording an assist in Wednesday’s 5-1 win over the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. “But at the same time, I think that helps me.”

Four and a half months into what was expected to be a breakout season, two significant ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has performed like a future star this season. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Early adversity helped Sabres star Tage Thompson develop into special talent

TORONTO – Brent Thompson remembers his son, Tage, was beside himself that day almost eight years ago during their five-hour ride home to Long Island.

Tage Thompson, who has emerged as the Buffalo Sabres’ most lethal goal scorer this season, had just been cut from one of USA Hockey’s regional camps, and he left Syracuse angry and shocked.

If Thompson had advanced and earned one of 200 spots for the national camp at the Northtown ... Read the full article

Craig Anderson has faced Toronto often over his long career. ©2022, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres face stiff challenge in Auston Matthews, scorching Maple Leafs

TORONTO – Having scored 18 goals during their three-game winning streak, including a whopping 10 in one contest, the Maple Leafs are perhaps the NHL’s hottest team.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres, losers of six straight games, are arguably the league’s coldest club.

For the first time since Dec. 11, the Leafs will have a full house of nearly 19,000 fans tonight in Scotiabank Arena. COVID-19 restrictions forced them to play in a near-empty or half-full ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner recorded three points Saturday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres roar back, fall to Maple Leafs; Jeff Skinner enjoys best game in years

BUFFALO – There were at least three points in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs – the fluky first-period score and two-goal deficits in the second and third – the Sabres would’ve never recovered from in the not-so-distant past.

Each time, the Sabres roared back, tying it. When they knotted the game at 4, scoring twice in a 59-second span during midway through the third period, it felt like they would earn at ... Read the full article

Aaron Dell endured a rough preseason before Buffalo waived him. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres could turn to goalie Aaron Dell against Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – A few days into training camp, Sabres coach Don Granato acknowledged that if the season started tomorrow, goalies Craig Anderson and Aaron Dell would rank first and second on the depth chart.

Dell, who might start tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, had a leg up in the competition with Dustin Tokarski for the backup job. But in the preseason, Dell posted ghastly numbers – a 5.57 goals-against average and an .838 save ... Read the full article