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Posted On Wednesday, 11.26.2014 / 12:36 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Jets at Sabres

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has not played in a home game since Oct. 10, 2013. That will change against the Winnipeg Jets.

Kaleta is set to rejoin the lineup on Wednesday taking the place of Cody McCormick, who is being evaluated for a possible concussion. Kaleta has played in one game this season, on the road against the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 13.

"I'm anxious," Kaleta said. "I feel better today than I did in Minnesota. In Minnesota I felt real nervous. Today, I feel more calm and controlled. Over the past couple weeks, even during practice, I feel like I'm starting to get my legs back and my power. My practices the past couple weeks have been really good and beneficial to my game and, like I said, I feel more comfortable today than I have in the past."

Kaleta missed most of last season with a torn ACL he sustained while playing for the Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League. He missed the start of this season after he injured his eye and jaw after being a struck by a puck in the preseason. Kaleta will be on a line with Marcus Foligno and Chris Stewart, but it's up in the air as to who will play center on that line.

"We'll probably put him on the wing position," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We'll probably put [Foligno] in the middle, but we'll see how it goes."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.22.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs are each looking to build off recent wins when they face off on Saturday at Air Canada Center.

The Red Wings have won two in a row and three of the past four. They have had a few players get hot during that run. Tomas Tatar has four goals and two assists in the past four games and his linemate Riley Sheahan has two goals and two assists the past three games.

"We're still trying to shoot the pucks and trying to create lots of offense," Tatar said. "We're really happy right now the puck is finding the net and we just have to keep shooting."

Justin Abdelkader is the third member of that line, and he had a goal and an assist in Detroit's 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

"The big thing is they all have a dimension," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Tatar's game is rounding out. Tatar has a chance to be a real good player in the League if he keeps working and developing and taking care of the puck. Sheahan is a guy who's got to get his feet going to get through the neutral zone, but he knows how to play with and without the puck. Abdelkader has turned himself into a real good pro who's heavy on the forecheck, at the net, knows how to play. They've got the makings of a good line."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The San Jose Sharks are looking to end a seven-game winless streak against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

The Sharks are 0-6-1 against the Sabres in the past seven games and haven't beaten Buffalo since Jan. 23, 2010.

"They're actually a pretty pesky team," Sharks forward Joe Thornton said. "They grind you out. We've always had problems with them for whatever reason, so we'd kind of like to get that off our back and finish this trip up nicely."

The Sharks are playing the final game of a seven-game road trip, one that's seen them go 3-3-0 to this point. Rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick will get his second consecutive start. He had a 45-save shutout in his NHL debut Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I thought he played a tremendous game in Carolina. He stole it for us," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He looked very confident and felt very good in the net. If that's the aura that he's got around him right now, and the team can rally around him, we feel good about putting him back in."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.15.2014 / 12:21 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres head into their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on a five-game losing streak and have lost eight of the past nine games. Sabres coach Ted Nolan is searching for answers in his lineup and working around some injuries.

Defenseman Josh Gorges is out with an upper-body injury he sustained Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues. Forward Marcus Foligno missed the game Thursday against the Minnesota Wild after returning from injury on Tuesday. He'll be back in the lineup against Toronto.

"You want to come back in the lineup and make a difference," Foligno said. "Obviously against St. Louis, it's a tough game. I didn't get in too many practices or anything before I got back in, but I was itching to get in and I got a chance to be ready here against a good team like Toronto, and it's always fun playing this team."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.08.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Penguins at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to extend their season-high six-game winning streak when they face the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

The Penguins are coming off a 4-3 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, their closest game of the streak. The Penguins have won four consecutive games against the Sabres, outscoring them 17-2 in that stretch. That includes a 5-0 win Nov. 1 in Pittsburgh.

"Our special teams have been very good," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "If you look at the last six or seven games our special teams have been good. We got out of the gate, got some confidence early, which is very important as you know. If you look around the League, if you come out of the gate well you tend to get that confidence that you need. Those are a couple of the factors. And then now we're getting secondary scoring. We were searching for that early and we've started to get secondary scoring."

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Posted On Friday, 11.07.2014 / 12:43 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Oilers at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres have found their hot hand in goal with Michal Neuvirth.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan said Neuvirth will start against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday at First Niagara Center. This will be Neuvirth's third consecutive start and sixth in the past nine games.

"He's been real good for us," Nolan said. "Jhonas [Enroth] has been good too. Right now with the time and between games, Neuvirth had two days off between the games. Last time Jhonas played well was back-to-back. Those back-to-backers are tough and we'll see how [Friday] goes and see how he feels after the game. Neuvirth's been playing very well for us. He's almost like a sponge with those rebounds; there's no rebounds hardly at all. He's played very well for us."

In six starts Neuvirth is 2-3-1 with a .925 save percentage and a 2.60 goals-against average.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 12:45 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Montreal Canadiens will be facing a pair of familiar faces when they play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, SN).

Former Canadiens captain Brian Gionta and former alternate captain Josh Gorges will be playing against their former team for the first time since joining the Sabres in the offseason.

"It's always different the first time you play against your former team," Gorges said. "There are a lot of different emotions that get thrown into it. I talked about this [Tuesday], making sure I focus on doing what we need to do to win. That's the most important thing. You try not to think about it too much during the day [Wednesday]. You're going through your regular routine and wait for that puck to drop, because once that puck drops it's business as usual."

Gorges was traded to the Sabres by the Canadiens on July 1. Gionta signed with the Sabres as a free agent the same day.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.02.2014 / 12:37 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Detroit Red Wings will look a bit more familiar when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday at First Niagara Center.

Red Wings forward Johan Franzen will return to the lineup after missing the past six games with a groin injury. In four games, Franzen has two goals and three assists. He skated on a line with Gustav Nyquist and Darren Helm at practice on Saturday.

The Red Wings made room for Franzen by putting forward Stephen Weiss on injured reserve with a groin injury Friday. Weiss was injured while on a conditioning assignment playing for Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.30.2014 / 12:54 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Bruins at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres are looking to rebound from a historically poor performance Tuesday when they host the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

The Sabres had a franchise-worst 10 shots on goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 4-0 loss Tuesday. Coach Ted Nolan put the players through a long, tough practice Wednesday and the team had an optional skate Thursday morning. Forward Cody Hodgson was demoted to the fourth line, and alongside rookie Sam Reinhart and Nicolas Deslauriers.

"We had a good meeting with him," Nolan said. "We showed some video. We ran through some things to try to get Cody to being better -- as all our players. We had 1-on-1 chats with a lot of guys and he was one of them."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 1:35 PM

By Joe Yerdon -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Bruins at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will scratch Sam Reinhart, the second pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, on Saturday against the Boston Bruins.

Reinhart has played in the Sabres first five games and has no points. He’s played the past two games on the fourth line after he played on the third line in the first three.

“It’s one of those things. He’s a young player that’s still learning,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “So we’ll let him watch a game and let’s see how he comes from that.”

Reinhart has averaged 10:26 of ice time in five games and has two shots on goal. Brian Flynn will take his place in the lineup.

“You ask any first year player, a first couple [years] player, they all go through it,” Nolan said. “They’ve got to watch. Sometimes you learn a lot more by watching than playing sometimes. It’s still early in his development. We tried to force-feed it right at the beginning. We tried putting him with a lot of minutes on the top lines, then we backed off a little bit. Now this is another way to try and get his game going.”

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