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EDINA, Minn. – The thought hits Casey Mittelstadt's mom in the middle of her meal. It's a relatively rushed restaurant salad an hour before a game, like she's probably done hundreds of times in her life. Only this time, she's asked between bites of roasted Buffalo chicken to ponder how fast things are really moving for her family. "In 13 months, Casey has played on five…

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Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt, the Sabres' last two first-round draft picks, made a surprise appearance in the Fattey League playoffs Monday night at HarborCenter. They joined Buffalo native and Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo and another, Sabres first-rounder, Zemgus Girgensons. The league was formed in 2005 and has grown to 10 teams. Dahlin, who rec…

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Matej Pekar says he "loves, loves, loves" to be the annoying guy on the ice, and it showed throughout Sabres development camp. The fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft was all over Casey Mittelstadt and Brett Murray Saturday, a day after he was the one getting nailed by a clean check from Rasmus Dahlin. Pekar says Boston's Brad Marchand, who became infamous for lickin…

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Casey Mittelstadt's shootout goal gave Team Martin a 3-2 victory over Team Perreault Saturday in the championship game of the Sabres' French Connection Tournament that wrapped up development camp. But the 1,800 fans that packed HarborCenter were there mostly to watch Rasmus Dahlin. The No. 1 overall pick hit the crossbar on the first shift of his first game and didn't s…

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Just standing next to Casey Mittelstadt, one can tell there's a difference. The forward is bigger than when we last saw him in Buffalo, making his NHL debut in the final six games of the Sabres' disastrous 2017-18 season. That's not a surprise since the weight room is where Mittelstadt's focus has been after a whirlwind season that included the Men's World Juniors, p…

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Rick Dudley stood with a cup of coffee on the HarborCenter's upper concourse, while the NHL's best prospects worked out in tank tops and shorts on the arena floor below. Dudley is the quintessential hockey scout, a tireless bird dog who bought a house 15 years ago in Lewiston, although he worked for the Chicago Blackhawks, because he mapped out 34 amateur and pro arenas…

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Jason Botterill didn’t get to ease into his first year as Buffalo Sabres general manager. He hired a coach, locked up the franchise player, drafted a future cornerstone and won a lottery. The only place where things were boring was on the ice. Botterill, who is celebrating one year on the job Friday, will need to improve the hockey during his second year. While he pl…

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A groin injury appears to have ended Casey Mittelstadt's season. The Buffalo Sabres and their 19-year-old center hoped USA Hockey would select Mittelstadt for its World Championship team. The United States unveiled its initial roster Saturday, and Mittelstadt failed to make the cut. A groin injury is said to be the culprit. USA Hockey named 23 players to its roste…

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Buffalo Sabres backup goalie Chad Johnson, an unrestricted free agent, said he's interested in returning to Buffalo but has to be shown the team is willing to make changes. "I know I can be a good goalie in this league and I showed that when things were the way they should be," Johnson said at locker cleanout day Monday. "I have to see the change, whether it's through p…

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You're not going to make any sweeping judgments on Casey Mittelstadt from six games with the NHL's worst team. Mittelstadt had some good moments and some troublesome ones in his first taste of NHL life with the Buffalo Sabres, just like you'd expect from any 19-year-old. But he left the Sabres and their fans waiting for more. Mittelstadt is going to start for Team USA a…

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TAMPA, Fla. -- The stat sheet doesn't tell nearly the whole story. By the numbers, it shows the Buffalo Sabres gave up three goals in the third period and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-5, here Friday night. It was a wild game before 19,902 in Amalie Arena that saw the Lightning take a two-point lead over Boston while Buffalo dropped its third in a row and fell to 2…

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TAMPA, Fla. – Casey Mittelstadt and Alexander Nylander, the Buffalo Sabres' top draft picks the last two years, scored the first goals of their NHL careers Friday night early in the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Amalie Arena. Mittelstadt converted with a wrist shot on a power play at 2:57 of the first period while Nylander tipped home a Brendan Guhle shot at 6…

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The Buffalo Sabres have two games left. Brendan Guhle, Casey Nelson, Nick Baptiste, Alex Nylander, Kevin Porter and Linus Ullmark have as many as 29 remaining. That's fine by them. After the Sabres close the NHL season Friday in Tampa Bay and Saturday in Florida, the organization will send the aforementioned players back to Rochester. The Amerks have five regular-sea…

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NASHVILLE – A little more than nine months ago, Casey Mittelstadt was a wide-eyed 18-year-old getting shown the red carpet by the NHL in advance of the draft. He was on the top prospects' annual trip to Game Four of the Stanley Cup final and it landed him in the Music City. Predators-Penguins. The roars inside Bridgestone Arena. The thousands mobbing Broadway outside. H…

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NASHVILLE -- Folks in the Music City hope history can be made here this June with the Nashville Predators winning their first Stanley Cup. But it's another June in Nashville, now nearly 15 years ago, that continues to have major impact on the NHL. It was here in 2003 that the most iconic entry draft in league history took place. It's incredible to go down the list of se…