Casey Mittelstadt has missed the last 21 games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Dustin Tokarski leaves practice early; Casey Mittelstadt on track to play

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski left this morning’s practice early and was being evaluated after taking a shot in the facial area, coach Don Granato said.

The Sabres, who leave this afternoon for a two-game road trip, have one other healthy goalie on the roster, Aaron Dell.

Meanwhile, Granato said center Casey Mittelstadt, who suffered an upper-body injury Oct. 14, is on track to play Thursday against the Florida Panthers. Mittelstadt practiced between Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Asplund this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Granato said the Sabres will decide if Mittelstadt can play after Wednesday’s practice. The American has missed the last 21 games.

“(We) tried to get him as much pace and compete and battle as we could today,” Granato said. “Obviously, practice couldn’t be too long in taxing and duration as result of that. But he got some, so it’s definitely progress for him, a progression for him to get some battle and he’ll get more tomorrow.”

The Sabres could have another new face in the lineup Thursday. Mark Jankowski, who signed an NHL contract Sunday, skated at left wing with center Cody Eakin and Vinnie Hinostroza this morning.

Wingers Anders Bjork and John Hayden skated as extras today.

Granato said he expects defenseman Jacob Bryson, who missed Monday’s 7-4 loss to the Seattle Kraken with a nagging injury, to play Thursday. Bryson did not practice today.

“We held him today because we expect (him to play) Thursday, if that makes any sense,” Granato said. “We just felt it would be better for him.”

Update: The Sabres this afternoon waived defenseman Christian Wolanin, who has played just one game since he was claimed on waivers Oct. 16 from the Los Angeles Kings.

With eight defensemen on the roster and Mittelstadt close to playing again, a move needed to be made.

Wolanin, 26, made his only appearance Nov. 8, skating 8 minutes, 18 seconds in the Sabres’ 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals.

Update: The Kings on Wednesday afternoon claimed Wolanin.

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