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Posted On Saturday, 01.17.2015 / 1:31 PM

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

At the Rink: Flyers at Sabres

BUFFALO -- When the Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at First Niagara Center on Saturday, it will be a game that features a pair of teams trying to turn things around.

The Flyers have been shut out in two consecutive games and may be without forward Matt Read who Flyers GM Ron Hextall said has a 24-hour illness. The Flyers recalled forward Jason Akeson from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League in case Read can't play.

"He's got good skill," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "[Akeson] up here at the time we had him up here, he was on the fourth line. It's not a real position for him to succeed I think, but that's reality a lot of times. Coming up here he needs to find a niche where he can fit in there."

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Posted On Thursday, 01.15.2015 / 1:26 PM

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

At the Rink: Wild at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Minnesota Wild and Buffalo Sabres are both looking to end lengthy losing streaks at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

The Wild are winless in six consecutive games and goaltending has been a problem during Minnesota's losing streak. The Wild acquired goalie Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick. Dubnyk will make his Wild debut against the Sabres.

"He looked good in the morning," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "That's not necessarily a great indicator, but I think we're just excited. I know from playing against him that I really do believe this is a guy that can come in and be successful here."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 2:18 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 be without starting goalie Jimmy Howard for 2-4 weeks because of a slight groin tear, according to the Associated Press.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on Tuesday said Howard was week-to-week with his injury, according to the AP. Howard will not play in the All-Star Game.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com that an ultrasound revealed Howard's injury.

Howard was injured during a 3-1 loss Saturday to the Washington Capitals when he stretched across the crease in an attempt to stop a Troy Brouwer wraparound goal.

With Howard out, Petr Mrazek will start in goal Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres. Tom McCollum was recalled Sunday from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to be the backup.

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Posted On Friday, 01.02.2015 / 2:16 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 will have defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen back in the lineup against the Florida Panthers on Friday.

Ristolainen missed the past two games with the flu and will be reunited on a pairing with rookie Nikita Zadorov. Ristolainen and Zadorov were first-round picks of the Sabres in the 2013 NHL Draft.

"I'm really excited. I like to play with him," Ristolainen said. "We both like to play the same style of game. We just enjoy [playing] with each other."

The Sabres are still without Tyler Myers (lower body). With Tyson Strachan back, putting Ristolainen and Zadorov back together was a natural fit.

"Our defense corps was a little bit in disarray for a while, and those two were probably our two shining lights," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "So we thought we'd spread it out for a little bit."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 12:51 PM

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

At the Rink: Lightning at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will turn to rookie goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to try and turn around their slump on the road.

Vasilevskiy will make his fourth start of the season when the Lightning play the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Russian was recalled by the Lightning on Tuesday from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Evgeni Nabokov will be the backup and Ben Bishop will be scratched.

"It's a tough stretch down the road, as we know," Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness said. "We're lucky to have [Nabokov] with us and we're lucky to have this kid [Vasilevskiy], who's come up and played so very well for us in the three games that he played. It's an easy game for him to come in terms of commute. It's not a long day of travel for him."

Vasilevskiy is 2-1-0 with a .940 save percentage in his three games. He set a Lightning rookie record with 45 saves against the New York Islanders on Dec. 20.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 1:46 PM

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

At the Rink: Islanders at Sabres

BUFFALO -- The Christmas break turned out to be a helpful one for the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres will have three players back in the lineup against the New York Islanders on Saturday they didn't have on Tuesday. Forwards Matt Moulson (illness) and Cody McCormick (lower-body) along with defenseman Mike Weber (knee) will return.

"I feel a little fragile this year so far," McCormick said with a laugh. "Hopefully I'll be a little more durable going forward. It feels good to be back in."

Moulson's return to the lineup came after he recovered from the flu. He went through testing for mumps, but was cleared from that.

"I think everyone's worried about [mumps], what's going on throughout the League, but I got all the testing done for it," Moulson said. "[I] started feeling better Monday … had to wait for tests."

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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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Quote of the Day

I don't care how big the goalies' equipment is, when you're taking a shot like Ovechkin took [Wednesday], it's going to go in.

— Former player Mike Bossy on Capitals' Alex Ovechkin being the fifth player in NHL history to score 30-plus goals in 10 straight seasons