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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 1:49 PM

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

At the Rink: Avalanche at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Colorado Avalanche will have a pair of players returning to the lineup when they face the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Saturday.

Forwards John Mitchell and Patrick Bordeleau will return from injury and are in the lineup for the Avalanche. Mitchell missed seven games with a lower-body injury he sustained against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 29. He will center a line with Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla on the wings.

“It feels nice,” Mitchell said. “It feels real good to be out there and skate and finally play a game and not show up at the rink at 6:45 right before the guys go out. Just the thought of being here on time for game time and being prepared, it feels good.”

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Posted On Monday, 12.15.2014 / 1:38 PM

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

At the Rink: Senators at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres have won nine of their past 12 games and look to win their sixth straight at home when they face the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday in which Josh Gorges and Andrej Meszaros each left with injuries. Each player skated Monday and may be back in against the Senators.

Gorges left in the third period after he injured his hand blocking a shot. Meszaros left in the second period after he took a puck off his chin from an Aaron Ekblad shot.

"I felt relatively good, good enough to play," Gorges said. "Now it's a matter of making sure there's doctor's clearance and there's no further damage."

Gorges admitted his hand "isn't 100 percent" but he's ready to play.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 12:41 PM

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

At the Rink: Panthers at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres are seeking their fifth consecutive win but will have to beat a Florida Panthers team on Saturday that they haven’t had much success against recently to do it.

The Sabres have lost five consecutive to the Panthers and four straight at First Niagara Center. The Sabres dropped a 3-2 decision to the Panthers Dec. 6 in Sunrise.

"Last game we put a ton of shots on net and had really good chances," Sabres forward Cody Hodgson said. "Either [Roberto Luongo or Al Montoya] will be a challenge tonight. Hopefully we get a lot of puck on the net and keep the offense rolling."

Hodgson will re-enter the Sabres lineup after he was a healthy scratch against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. He takes the place of Cody McCormick who is out with a lower-body injury. Hodgson skated on a line with Chris Stewart and Patrick Kaleta at practice on Friday.

"We’ve got the [Zemgus] Girgensons line going now and we’ve got the [Torrey] Mitchell line going," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We’re just kind of finding those mixtures there. If we get [Drew] Stafford continuing to play, we’ll get that mixture going. You never know what will get Cody going from within."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 1:37 PM

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

At the Rink: Flames at Sabres

BUFFALO – The Calgary Flames will likely have forward Joe Colborne back in the lineup as they look to stop a two-game losing skid when they face the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Colborne skated with Sean Monahan and Paul Byron on Thursday. Those three make up what would be Calgary's top line.

"Joe I think is 99.9 [percent] he's in," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "He feels real good. So we're going to meet right after [team] meeting and don't be surprised if he's in."

Colborne has no goals and eight assists in 11 games. He's been out since sustaining an upper-body injury Oct. 28 against the Montreal Canadiens. Forward Michael Ferland was sent to Adirondack of the American Hockey League to activate Colborne off injured reserve.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 1:34 PM

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

At the Rink: Kings at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Los Angeles Kings are getting their forwards back together for their matchup against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Marian Gaborik skated with Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams during morning skate at First Niagara Center and appears set to rejoin the lineup after missing the past four games with an illness.

“He’s a huge X-factor,” Williams said. “When he’s on his game, he’s as explosive as there is in the game of hockey. Injuries have slowed him a little bit, but the game is all still there. He’s someone other teams have to key on.”

In 15 games this season, Gaborik has four goals and four assists. Seven of his eight points have come at even strength.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.02.2014 / 1:45 PM

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

At the Rink: Lightning at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have one of their leaders on defense back against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Defenseman Josh Gorges will return to the lineup after missing the past seven games with a knee injury. He'll play on the top pairing alongside Tyler Myers. The Sabres have won five of their past six games and swept a home-and-home series against the Canadiens on Friday and Saturday.

"Anytime you're out and you haven't played in a while, I think the biggest thing, and it doesn't matter how old you get or how many games you've played, is calming the nerves," Gorges said. "Especially when the guys have been playing well and winning. You don't want to come in and mess that up. It's about staying in the moment, taking it one shift at a time."

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Posted On Friday, 11.28.2014 / 1:46 PM

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

At the Rink: Canadiens at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will have Tyler Myers back in the lineup on Friday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Myers missed the game Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets with a lower-body injury. The Sabres replaced him with Andre Benoit and lost 2-1.

"I feel good," Myers said. "I'll be in tonight, no problem."

Myers was a late scratch and did not skate in warm-ups after practicing normally on Tuesday. He was struck in the hand by a shot from Alex Ovechkin in the Sabres 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 22.

"It was pretty much just bad timing," Myers said. "I gave it a go and I was in a position where I needed an extra day and feeling good now."

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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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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins