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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn will miss back-to-back games this weekend after suffering a groin injury during Wednesday night’s 1-0 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Head Coach Lindy Ruff said the blueliner will be out for Friday’s contest against Montreal, and “would assume if he misses tomorrow then he won’t be ready for Saturday’s [game in Chicago]. So it’s going to be a little bit of time.”

The loss gives way for either Chris Butler or Mike Weber to step into the lineup for the first time this season. Butler played 59 games for Buffalo in the 2009-10 campaign, recording 21 points, while Weber spent the year with the AHL Portland Pirates, logging 21 points in 80 games.

Both players have been healthy scratches for the Sabres’ first four games this season.

“They’ve been doing well,” Ruff said of the defensemen. “They’ve done a lot of extra work and again, when your opportunity comes you have to be prepared and you have to take advantage of it.”

Ruff did not reveal which player would be in the lineup for Friday’s game at HSBC Arena, but said that each defense pairing will likely change. Up to this point Tyler Myers has played alongside Morrisonn, Craig Rivet has been partnered with Andrej Sekera and Steve Montador has been on a tandem with Jordan Leopold.

Ruff expects both Butler and Weber to play the system, should they suit up.

“They’ve been there for every meeting. They know when to go and they know when to hold up,” he said. “Our system isn’t effective if one guy is missing. Again, it’s take care of your own end first.”

One other change to the lineup this weekend may include the season debut of Patrick Lalime. In the midst of a six-game stretch in nine nights, the netminder may see some action to give Ryan Miller a break. Ruff did not disclose which game Lalime will play in, but said he has worked out a tentative schedule with Miller in advance.

For Ruff's full comments, click here.
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