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Tyler Ennis to be out several weeks

Sabres forward to miss time after groin surgery

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Forward Tyler Ennis of the Buffalo Sabres will be out for several weeks after having groin surgery Thursday.

Ennis has one goal and one assist in 12 games. He played 7:33 in a 4-0 loss at the Boston Bruins on Monday and sat out a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators at home on Wednesday.

"He's been struggling with it, but it got worse the last few days, few games, to the point where in the Boston game I pulled him … I didn't play him in the third period because of where he was at pain-wise and he wasn't able to skate or push," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said.

Ennis was limited to 23 games last season because of two concussions. The second came on Dec. 30, 2015, when he was checked by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin. Ennis missed the remainder of the season.

"It's disappointing for Tyler," Bylsma said. "This is a situation he's been dealing with for a little bit, the past little while, days, maybe a week. Kind of just extremely disappointing to get the news he's going to be out for a bit of time having surgery, which he had this morning. He's had a tough go of getting on the ice and playing games, which he's had the last nine months, 10 months."

Video: BUF@PHI: Ennis tallies on backhand shot while falling

Ennis has 93 goals and 225 points in 380 NHL games, all with the Sabres.

The Sabres have had several injuries this season. Second-year center Jack Eichel sustained a high ankle sprain Oct. 12 and hasn't played since. Left wing Evander Kane missed 11 games after he broke four ribs when he crashed into the end boards in the season opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 13. Defenseman Zach Bogosian is out with a sprained MCL, and left wing Nicolas Deslauriers is out because of a knee injury. Center Ryan O'Reilly missed the game Wednesday because of a mid-body injury and is day to day.

The one benefit for the Sabres is that the injuries have given younger players, including forwards Nicholas Baptiste, William Carrier and Cole Schneider, and defenseman Casey Nelson, the opportunity to show they belong in the NHL.

"We've had a number of opportunities for these guys to come up and show what they can do and how they can play," Bylsma said. "You see some of them grabbing the opportunity and run with it and that's kind of what we need. We expect that these guys can come up and do a job for us and come up and play in a certain role and they're getting that chance."

Baptiste has two goals in eight games; the second came in the loss to the Senators on Wednesday.

"I want to make it as hard on management and coaches to send me down," Baptiste said. "I want when guys get healthy for them to be, 'Well, Nick's playing well and it's hard for us to send him down.' We want to make a statement, and I want to play in the NHL."

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