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Posted On Friday, 12.27.2013 / 1:42 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Holiday break helped Sabres beat the flu

TORONTO -- The Buffalo Sabres used the three-day holiday break to recover from a flu bug that forced the team to use 16 skaters in a 2-1 overtime win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.

A full roster of players hit the ice during the morning skate Friday ahead of their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN).

"They look a lot better [Friday] so that's good," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "Anytime you have a couple days' break, especially this time of year, it's good for your emotional spirits. So they came back in good spirits."

Nolan said he'll play newcomer Linus Omark on a line with Marcus Foligno and Ville Leino. All three players missed the game Monday with the flu. Omark was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 19 and has played one game with the Sabres.

"When I signed [with Edmonton] this year I wanted to play in the NHL," Omark said. "I wanted to get the opportunity right away but I didn't get it with Edmonton. So I'm glad that they traded me and I get a chance here to show what I can do."

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Posted On Monday, 12.23.2013 / 1:31 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres battling flu, recall Pysyk, Larsson from AHL

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres recalled a pair of players ahead of their game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.

Defenseman Mark Pysyk and forward Johan Larsson were called up from their American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester. Following the optional morning skate, interim coach Ted Nolan said both players would be in the lineup against the Coyotes. The Sabres have a few players dealing with illness.

"We're hoping that they're ready to go," Nolan said. "Four or five of them called in this morning and couldn't make it out of bed. We're hoping by game time they'll feel a bit better."

Nolan only confirmed forward Linus Omark was one of the sick players. Omark was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 2:03 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Detroit's DeKeyser back for Classic preview

TORONTO – The Detroit Red Wings will get one of their many injured players back when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night in a preview of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Defenseman Danny DeKeyser will be back in the lineup after missing the past 15 games with a separated shoulder.

"I'm really excited about it," DeKeyser said. "There's a good history here between Detroit and Toronto, two pretty storied franchises. It's going to be fun. It's Saturday night so it's going to be a great atmosphere and should be a great game."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 2:02 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins defenseman Warsofsky to make NHL debut

BUFFALO -- The Boston Bruins will have another new player in their lineup when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Defenseman David Warsofsky will make his NHL debut. Warsofsky was called up when the team sent down defenseman Kevan Miller on Wednesday. He's spent the past three seasons with the Bruins' American Hockey League team in Providence.

"You'll see he's a very good skating, smart, heady player," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. "We have one of those like Torey Krug, so I'm anxious to see how our [defense] will look [Thursday] with two of them."

Warsofsky likely will be with Matt Bartkowski on the third defensive pairing. Goalie Chad Johnson is expected to get his ninth start of the season. Johnson got the win Oct. 23 when the Bruins beat the Sabres 5-2.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 1:23 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sulzer, Porter back for Sabres; Pysyk sent to AHL

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres have shuffled the roster a little ahead of their game Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Sabres will have defenseman Alexander Sulzer back from injured reserve. To make room for him, they sent defensemen Mark Pysyk and Brayden McNabb along with forward Luke Adam to the American Hockey League and called up forward Kevin Porter and defenseman Chad Ruhwedel.

Pysyk has been a steady player in the Sabres lineup this season, playing in 31 of of their 33 games with no goals and four assists.

"Obviously Mark can play in this League and on this team right now, but is he at the mature level he could be? Not yet," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "He needs a bit more time to mature. He's a different type of send-down, he's not going down for a long time. He's just going down for a few days and go over to the Spengler Cup and he'll join us right after that."

Sulzer and Porter are expected to play against the Jets.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.14.2013 / 1:57 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maple Leafs will adjust without Clarkson

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without forward David Clarkson when they play host to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Clarkson was suspended for two games because of an illegal check to the head he delivered to St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka on Thursday. Clarkson's absence creates a hole at right wing on their third line that could be filled by Jerry D'Amigo or Carter Ashton.

"We have to make a roster adjustment," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "Player in or player out, you have to have a plan A or plan B as far as your roster for that position."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Maple Leafs get Lupul back after seven-game absence

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will have forward Joffrey Lupul back in their lineup when they face the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

Lupul has missed the past seven games with a groin injury; he'll return playing on a line with center Peter Holland and wing Nikolai Kulemin. The Maple Leafs went 2-3-2 without Lupul in the lineup.

"To put it bluntly, we're not playing very well," Lupul said. "We're not playing how we'd like. We're giving up too many chances and probably not creating enough. We've talked about some things. Penalties are killing us. … So we're going to try and stay out of the box and give our penalty kill a break, give our goalies a break, and go from there."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 1:15 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Foligno promoted as Sabres shuffle lines

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres are shuffling lines for their matchup against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Interim coach Ted Nolan is breaking up his top line of Matt MoulsonCody Hodgson and Drew Stafford, and spreading them out over three lines. Marcus Foligno is getting the biggest promotion, going from the fourth line to the second to join Stafford and team captain Steve Ott.

"It's huge for me," Foligno said. "I think I was set back because Ted wanted to show how I have to play. Fourth line, third line, second line, first line -- doesn’t matter. You have to bring your game every night. You're on a scoring line but it doesn't mean you're going to score every night. … This is going to be a big game tonight for myself to know that I can play there."

Forward Ville Leino, who had been centering the second line, will be scratched against the Senators in favor of John Scott.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.08.2013 / 5:48 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins call up two from Providence in wake of injuries

TORONTO – The Boston Bruins will have a couple of new faces in their lineup when they face theToronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Sunday night.

Forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser were recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis after injuries to forwards Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson in their 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday put them out of action. The team placed Kelly on long-term injured reserve and defenseman Adam McQuaid on injured reserve.

“He’s a very smart player. He makes great plays and he’s got great speed also,” Bruins forwardPatrice Bergeron said of Spooner. “He is a young player and I think he’s learning to become a professional, and also a great player on both sides of the rink. I think that’s something we preach strong here in Boston.”

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Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Joe Yerdon - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

McBain returning to Sabres' lineup

BUFFALO -- The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres each held an optional morning skate ahead of their game at First Niagara Center on Thursday. However, both teams had news to share off the ice.

The Sabres announced they would loan forward Mikhail Grigorenko to Russia for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. He will leave the team Sunday to attend a pre-tournament camp in Russia. The 2014 WJC runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014.

"I can't be sitting in the press box. I need to play. Everybody understands this," Grigorenko said. "It's a really good opportunity because it's a really good level there. [It's] probably not as good as the NHL but I would say it's close. So it's going to be really good for me."

Sabres coach Ted Nolan said forward Cody McCormick will play against the Rangers after missing the past four games with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Alexander Sulzer (undisclosed) will be placed on injured reserve to make room for him.

Defenseman Jamie McBain also will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past four games; defenseman Brayden McNabb will be a healthy scratch.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic