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Posted On Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Enroth to start again for Sabres

BUFFALO Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday against the New York Rangers as Ryan Miller deals with a sinus infection. Miller will serve as the backup.

It will be Enroth’s fourth start this season. He most recently got the nod on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils but left the game after cramping up late in the third period.

Miller had started 14 straight games before Thursday night.

Enroth is 0-2-0 this season with a 3.94 goals-against average and an .871 save percentage. He made 27 saves in New Jersey but had to be helped off the ice after allowing the game-tying goal with 1:06 left in regulation.

“We’d certainly like him to build off of that last game because I know that was one of the best games that I’ve seen him play since I’ve been in the organization,” Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said of Enroth following the team’s optional morning skate.

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Posted On Saturday, 02.23.2013 / 1:01 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders send down DiPietro to work on game

BUFFALO -- The New York Islanders were one goaltender short when they took the ice for their morning skate at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

The team waived Rick DiPietro on Friday and had to wait until he cleared waivers at noon Saturday before they could call up Kevin Poulin of the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Evgeni Nabokov was the lone goaltender at practice.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano said the move was made so DiPietro could get more ice time and work on his game. In three NHL games this season, DiPietro is 0-3-0 with a 4.10 goals-against average and an .855 save percentage.

"Rick hasn't played in a while. It's not a demotion by any means," Capuano said. "From an organizational standpoint and for Rick, just to go down and get some games because he hasn't had many games."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Missed coverage earns Leopold spot on sideline

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As the Buffalo Sabres try to tighten up defensively, coach Lindy Ruff will make veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold a healthy scratch Tuesday, when the Sabres play host to the Winnipeg Jets at First Niagara Center.

Buffalo has given up 33.8 shots per game, more than any team in the NHL. Only the Florida Panthers (56) have allowed more non-shootout goals than the 54 the Sabres have given up.

"It's not the first time I've ever sat and watched a game," Leopold said. "You learn from it. It creates a fire underneath you and urges you to get better."

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Posted On Friday, 02.15.2013 / 1:20 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Bruins, Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres open a three-game homestand Friday while the visiting Boston Bruins embark on the first of a five-game road trip. The teams meet at First Niagara Center for their third of five matchups this season and the second in a week.

The Sabres won the first game, 7-4, in Boston on Jan. 31 and the Bruins came back to win, 3-1, Sunday in Buffalo. The two teams have become quite familiar with each other in the last week, but will not play each other again until March 31.

Buffalo is coming off its first two-day break since Jan. 22-23 after playing at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

"We had a good day off. We had a real good practice yesterday, and when we talk about energy level, it should be right at the top," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sabres could get Regehr back on blue line

BUFFALO, N.Y. -– With the Buffalo Sabres' defense getting healthier, coach Lindy Ruff has some decisions to make in terms of who will play and who will sit. Andrej Sekera returned to the lineup on Saturday and they could get another veteran back on Sunday when they host the Boston Bruins.

Robyn Regher has missed the last seven games with a lower-body injury but he feels he'll be ready to go Sunday night.

"It's been a couple of weeks. I feel pretty good out there," Regehr said. "I told Lindy that I feel like I'm ready to play, so it's up to him to decide what the next move is."

Ruff also said that defenseman Tyler Myers will be a game-time decision. He was a healthy scratch for the first time this season for their game on Saturday against the New York Islanders. He was on the ice for an extended period of time Sunday morning, so it's expected that he will be scratched for the second straight game.

"[Myers] hasn’t defended well, obviously," Ruff said. "He's made some decisions that have been tough decisions on the ice, some gambles that have turned into goals against. We've tried to help him with those decisions.

"I think he's caught in between where he wants to create offense and he's put himself in a tough position defensively on some of these, so we're trying to help him through it."

Center Mikhail Grigorenko participated in the team's optional skate Sunday morning and was out on the ice for nearly an hour. He said he was told he would take part in the pregame warm-up but he was not sure if or how much he would be playing Sunday night. Ruff indicated that his ice time will vary from game to game, and in some cases he may not play at all.

Defenseman TJ Brennan is also expected to be a healthy scratch. The Sabres will have to make a roster move if they activate Regehr from injured reserve.

The Bruins had their home game on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning postponed due to inclement weather. The team held a full practice on Sunday in Buffalo.

"It was one of those days where you did a lot more office work than you did hockey work," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

With the postponement on Saturday, Boston has been off since Wednesday while the Sabres will play their third game in four nights on Sunday.

Julien declared forwards Brad Marchand (upper body), Daniel Paille (upper body) and Shawn Thornton game-time decisions for Sunday. They all may take part in the pregame warm-up.

As for a starting goaltender, Anton Khudobin left the ice first after practice, but that doesn’t mean Tuukka Rask will be watching the game from the bench.

"They don't even know [who will be starting]," Julien said. "I told them both to be ready."

The Bruins' projected lineup:

Milan Lucic / Brad MarchandDavid KrejciTyler Seguin

Nathan HortonPatrice Bergeron – Rich Peverly

Daniel Paille / Lane MacDermidGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Chris BourqueChris KellyJamie Tardif

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk

Dougie HamiltonDennis Seidenberg

Andrew FerenceAdam McQuaid

Aaron Johnson

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 11:48 AM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ehrhoff to take warm-ups, could play for Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff may be back in the Buffalo Sabres lineup Thursday night when the team hosts the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center.

Ehrhoff missed Buffalo's game in Ottawa on Tuesday with a muscle strain. Adam Pardy was recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and made his Sabres debut against the Senators. Pardy played 18:25 and recorded an assist in the 4-3 loss.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said seven defensemen, including Ehrhoff, will take part in pregame warm-ups Thursday. A decision will be made after that. Ehrhoff is Buffalo's highest-scoring defenseman this season with five points and has averaged a team-high 23:54 of ice time per game.

"Early indications are [Ehrhoff] should be able to make it, but no guarantee yet," Ruff said.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Brennan, Weber in on Sabres' blue line

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres will mix things up on the blue line as they prepare for their home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Defensemen TJ Brennan and Mike Weber will replace Robyn Regehr and Alexander Sulzer in the lineup. Regehr will miss the game with what Sabres coach Lindy Ruff called an "undisclosed lower-body injury" while Sulzer will be a healthy scratch. Ruff expects Regehr will only be out in the short term.

Brennan and Weber have been healthy scratches through Buffalo’s first five games.

"You want guys that are chomping at the bit to play," Ruff said. "They're excited to play and full of energy. We'll tone them down from there."

The Sabres will have leading scorer Thomas Vanek back in the lineup after he missed Buffalo's game on Sunday against the Washington Capitals with a muscle strain. Buffalo also announced on Tuesday that 18-year-old center Mikhail Grigorenko will stay with the club for the remainder of the season.

On the Maple Leafs side, defenseman Mike Komisarek will miss the game with an eye injury. Coach Randy Carlyle said Komisarek received a suture in his eye at a visit to the doctor on Monday.

“Komisarek, at the end of practice [Monday] experienced a little fibreglass chip in the eye,” coach Randy Carlyle said after Tuesday's morning practice.

Komisarek visited the doctor again Tuesday and while he was cleared to play, the Maple Leafs coaching staff decided to shut him down for the night as a precautionary measure.

Carlyle was vague about how Komisarek injured his eye.

"It was one of those things that you'd like to take back in your life, I think, when you do something stupid," Carlyle said. "It was crazy."

Jake Gardiner may play for Toronto on Tuesday, but Carlyle feels no pressure to put the defenseman in the lineup. Gardiner injured his head and neck in a game on Dec. 8 while with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. He returned to the Maple Leafs lineup on Jan. 23 after missing the first two games of the NHL season.

"There's a need to get him back on track, but I don't think there's any pressure on us to play Jake Gardiner in any of the situations we're presented with right now. It's a coach's decision whether he plays or doesn't play," Carlyle said.

Forward Clarke MacArthur did not partake in the morning skate and is "very doubtful" for the game, according to Carlyle.

James Reimer will start in goal for the Maple Leafs, and Ryan Miller will start for the Sabres.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Grigorenko happy to be staying with Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Mikhail Grigorenko is staying with the Buffalo Sabres.

General manager Darcy Regier and coach Lindy Ruff gave the 18-year-old center the good news Tuesday morning. Following a five-game tryout, the Sabres could have returned Grigorenko to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but decided that it would be best to keep him in the NHL for the duration of the season.

The Sabres selected Grigorenko with the 12th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft. For Grigorenko, knowing that a decision was made one way or the other was a big relief.

"Today coming to the rink, I was a little bit nervous. I didn't know what to expect. Finally, they told me I was staying so I'm really happy," Grigorenko said after the morning skate Tuesday.

"Well, I think by the smile on his face, it was a quite a big relief,” Ruff said of Grigorenko's reaction to the news.

Regier said two things mainly went into the decision.

"First, the ability to continue to continue his development in conjunction with his ability to help us win hockey games," Regier said.

Grigorenko played a career-high 17:10 on Sunday against the Washington Capitals. He has not registered a point through five games, but the Sabres front office liked enough of what they saw to keep him on the roster.

Both Grigorenko and the Sabres' front office understand that the hard work does not stop now that he has made the team, but it must continue throughout his career.

“We talked about the work he put in and the work he’s going to have to put in. He’s earned this opportunity,” Ruff said.

While Grigorenko found out before the skate, his teammates did not learn about the decision until they were about to leave the ice. Ruff gathered the team near the boards on the opposite side of the Buffalo bench and made the announcement. The team tapped their sticks on the ice in congratulations and a few teammates gave the rookie a good face wash.

“It’s cool. It’s awesome. I know everyone’s excited,” Sabres captain Jason Pominville said. “I don’t know if you saw the reaction on the ice, but guys were pretty happy for him. He’s made some big strides. He’s improved in every game he’s played in. I think last game was probably his best.”

Grigorenko will dress in his sixth NHL game on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center.

"I think it’s a really good step in my career. I’ll do everything to show people that they made the right choice,” Grigorenko said. “It’s really good to know that I’m staying with the team and I can focus on the hockey now and not think about all those [other] things."

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Posted On Friday, 01.25.2013 / 12:36 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ruff says Leino doesn't need surgery -- yet

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino has not played this season due to a hip injury. He was placed on injured reserve before Thursday night’s game at the Carolina Hurricanes, but Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said he does not anticipate Leino needing surgery.

"There's no talk about surgery right now. We might as well just squash that," Ruff said. "Maybe down the road it happens; I don't know. Right now, there are some other treatment options that are possible."

Leino took the ice this morning at First Niagara Center in an optional skate with Cody McCormick, who also is on injured reserve, and anticipated healthy scratches Matt Ellis, TJ Brennan and Mike Weber. The Sabres and Hurricanes face each other in the second game of a back-to-back home-and-home series tonight at 7 p.m. Carolina won last night’s contest, 6-3.

Ruff told the media after this morning’s team meeting that Leino has been re-examined and had an MRI eaxam. The MRI looked “OK.” Among other treatments, they’ve tried giving Leino some rest.

"These hip things are things that can go in a lot of different directions," Ruff said. "We've had one player last year that had the same treatment Ville's going through and has been good ever since."

Leino skated for 20 minutes today before his hip started to tighten up again, according to Ruff. No timetable has been set as to when he will return to the lineup.

"We're going to do everything we possibly can to get him healthy," Ruff said. "We're just going to see where it goes."

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Quote of the Day

I got a chance to play a thousand games and that's pretty special to me. To get a thousand [points], it's a great accomplishment. I'm not going to hide my feelings, I'm proud of that. To do it on a win, do it on a goal, I think it makes it special.

— New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis after scoring his 1000th NHL point on Friday
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