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by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.

Paul Gaustad (photo: Getty Images)
The Sabres lineup could look a little different for tonight's match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning (Versus, 7 p.m.).  Center Paul Gaustad  and defenseman Nathan Paetsch are in a group of "about four or five guys" that are experiencing a flu-like sickness, according to head coach Lindy Ruff.

Gaustad skated in yesterday's practice and didn't feel well.  His condition worsened over night and forced him to miss the team's morning skate today.  He will be a game-time decision.  Paetsch on the other hand will be a scratch, according to Ruff.  

"We've got a couple of other guys that are just trying to get through it now," Ruff said.  "It seems like every day we're getting one or two more guys [coming down with the illness].

"It's kind of going around the entire team."

A possible replacement for any forwards needing sick leave could be Mike Ryan, who participated in his first skate yesterday after suffering a scary eye injury in the waning moments of Buffalo's 10-1 victory over Atlanta.

Ryan missed the last three games and is now being forced to wear a protective visor for the time being.  In 33 starts, the Boston, Mass. native has registered three goals and seven points.'s real-time depth chart will have tonight's lineup as soon as the game begins.  Check back to see who's in and who's out of the lineup.
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