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Pair of '12 picks may be tandem for Sabres vs. Wings

by Staff /

It appears as though Buffalo Sabres coach Ron Rolston will give a pair of 2012 first-round picks a chance to star on the same line to open the 2013-14 season against the Detroit Red Wings in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Mikhail Grigorenko, selected No. 12 in the 2012 NHL Draft, and Zemgus Girgensons (No. 14, 2012) were skating on the team's third line during the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena.

"I got some confidence from last year, so I think this year is going to be a lot better," Grigorenko told The Buffalo News. "I just want to prove to the coaches that they need me and do what I can do best, which is create offense, work hard and just show him that I can be really helpful for this team."

Grigorenko played 25 games with the Sabres in 2012-13 and had one goal and five points. Girgensons, who will be making his NHL debut, played 61 games with the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans, and produced six goals and 17 points.

"For any young guy in this locker room, I don't think there's such a thing as 'made it' so far," Girgensons told The Buffalo News. "I think for the young guys, you have to make it every day. You have to make every day count. You've got to prove yourself every day to stay up here because any young guy can be sent down at any time."

The Sabres announced on Tuesday that forwards Thomas Vanek would serve as captain for all home games, and Steve Ott would don the "C" for all road games. Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff will be alternate captain for all games.

The Red Wings recalled goaltender Petr Mrazek from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday and he will back up starter Jimmy Howard. Mrazek is 1-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in two career NHL games.


Thomas Vanek - Cody Hodgson - Drew Stafford

Steve Ott - Tyler Ennis - Ville Leino

Zemgus Girgensons - Mikhail Grigorenko - Brian Flynn

Kevin Porter - Cody McCormick - Patrick Kaleta

Christian Ehrhoff - Mark Pysyk

Henrik Tallinder - Tyler Myers

Mike Weber - Rasmus Ristolainen

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Marcus Foligno (shoulder), Nikita Zadorov (finger), Corey Tropp (jaw), Joel Armia (hand)


Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Johan Franzen - Stephen Weiss - Daniel Alfredsson

Daniel Cleary - Joakim Andersson - Todd Bertuzzi

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Mikael Samuelsson

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Danny DeKeyser - Jakub Kindl

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Tomas Tatar, Brian Lashoff, Xavier Ouellet

Injured: Patrick Eaves (ankle), Darren Helm (lower back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Jordin Tootoo (shoulder)

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