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Sabres add goaltending help in Tellqvist

by Adam Kimelman
In need of a healthy, veteran goaltender for their Stanley Cup Playoff push, the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday acquired goaltender Mikael Tellqvist from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Tellqvist, 29, is 7-5-1 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in 15 games as Ilya Bryzgalov's backup. A seven-year veteran, Tellqvist is 43-40-8 with two ties in 107 games with the Maple Leafs and Coyotes. He has a 3.04 GAA and .897 save percentage with six shutouts.

Tellqvist will split time with Patrick Lalime while starter Ryan Miller recovers from a high ankle sprain. Miller was hurt in the third period of a game Feb. 21 with the New York Rangers when he collided with Rangers center Scott Gomez chasing a puck behind his net. Miller limped off the ice and has missed the last three games.

Miller had played 51 of the Sabres' first 60 games, going 29-16-5 with a 2.50 GAA, .919 save percentage and five shutouts. In his absence the Sabres have slipped to 10th in the Eastern Conference, three points behind eighth-place Pittsburgh.

Coach Lindy Ruff told Buffalo radio station WGR Tuesday that he is happy with Miller's progress, but there's no timetable for his return.

"It feels better," Ruff said. "With ankle sprains you have good days and bad days. He said it feels good and we just hope it keeps progressing where he'll get to a point where he'll have to test it."

Lalime has started the last three games, going 0-2-1 but with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Rookie Jhonas Enroth had been serving as Lalime's backup, but the 20-year-old has yet to get into an NHL game.

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