The Buffalo Sabres will be without defenseman Tyler Myers and Mike Weber as they play a pivotal game Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
The Sabres are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, tied in points with the Washington Capitals who have more non-shootout victories. The Capitals play host to the Canadiens on Saturday.
While Weber was expected to miss the game, the news about Myers came as more of a shock.
“He’s going to miss tonight’s game,” said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff matter of factly, adding that Myers is “Day-to-day right now.”
Because of the injuries, Brayden McNabb and T.J. Brennan are expected to play on the back end for Buffalo.
“You’ve got to live off your experiences, we had some really good play out of Brayden," Ruff said. "We had some good play out of T.J. It’s just handling the extra minutes and where we put them that has sometimes been a problem. I think we are going to try and get them some good ice time and see how the other pairs make out.”
Because of the conundrum his club faces, Ruff is counting on his forwards to pick up the slack with two of his regular defenseman out of the lineup.
“We have to deal with it better this time than we did last time," Ruff said. "We’re a little deeper up front. We might have to score a little more. I think we are capable of that. I think our forwards have to pick up a little bit of the slack, we need to control more of the play and take the pressure off our D in this situation.”
Ruff acknowledged that Myers injury came after taking a shot in the foot of a 5-3 loss Friday to Pittsburgh. Weber was felled by a Matt Cooke hit in the same game.
While Ruff would not confirm that Miller is starting in net, there is a good bet he will be between the pipes as playing on back-to-back nights is not uncommon for the Sabres.
“We’re used to dealing with it, we’ve tried to adapt, do the right things, but it’s just part of our schedule," Ruff said.