Sabres interim coachTed Nolan received some potentially good news regarding the status of defenseman Tyler Myers on Tuesday.
Myers, who left the team’s game on Monday with a lower-body injury, may be ready to play Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Myers did not participate in practice Tuesday morning at First Niagara but Nolan said that the prognosis wasn’t as serious as they thought after the game.
“It’s a lot better than we thought. It’s more of a day-to-day situation. He was moving around pretty good today and hopefully he moves around real good tomorrow [so] he gets to play,” Nolan said. “He could play tomorrow.”
Miker Weber also missed practice but Nolan thinks he should be able to play as well and Chad Ruhwedel, a healthy scratch against the Oilers on Monday, will be in the lineup as well.
The Sabres and Penguins face off at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The game can be seen nationally on NBCSN.
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The team’s plan is to send Ruhwedel to Rochester during the Olympic break. He may or not return to the Sabres once they resume play on Feb. 25.
Nolan said Ryan Miller will start against Pittsburgh and may even start in Ottawa on Thursday.
For Miller, the Penguins game is another chance to impress Team USA coach Dan Bylsma, who will be behind the Pittsburgh bench.
“I have to perform at a high level. In hockey, it’s always [about] how you perform,” he said. “I felt like I played a decent game in their building last time and I just want to show that I can be consistent and do it again. Plus it’s a game where I need to bounce back. I was on the bench last game and it’s not very fun.”
Miller was pulled after the second period Saturday afternoon in Colorado after the Avalanche scored five goals on 27 shots. He’s looking to rebound against the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference.
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“It’s a good team to show off against,” Nolan said. “Pittsburgh is probably one of the most explosive teams in the National Hockey League and Ryan’s probably one of the best goaltenders in the National Hockey League. So he’s going to have a pretty good pretest before the Olympics,” Nolan said.
Miller said he hasn’t received any indication as to what his role on the national team will be, but is preparing like he is going to play every game.
Henrik Tallinder will represent Team Sweden along with goaltender Jhonas Enroth. While Tallinder is looking forward to traveling to Sochi, his focus right now is on the Sabres’ two remaining games.
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“You want to get going, but at the same time, you have to focus on your job,” Tallinder said. “Every game, we have to approach it like it’s do or die. Every game now, it’s a battle for us to make sure we’re ready for every game.”
Zemgus Girgensons, who will play for Team Latvia at the Olympics, practiced at center once again and will remain there for the foreseeable future after Nolan had some conversations with general manager Tim Murray.
“I was kind of flip-flopping back-and-forth when I first got here. I put him at center ice because I thought he would be real good [at] center ice. Then you talk to some people and you have that thought, that maybe he’s a power forward. It kind of switched my mind a little bit too,” Nolan explained.
“But then Tim comes in, who’s had a tremendous amount of experience in looking at this. So we kind of go back to sometimes your initial thoughts are probably some of the best. We’ll try him at that position.”
17 Linus Omark – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
9 Steve Ott – 19 Cody Hodgson – 27 Matt D’Agositni – 23 Ville Leino
84 Phil Varone – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 65 Brian Flynn
82 Marcus Foligno – 24 Zenon Konopka – 37 Matt Ellis
Red, Non-Contact: 8 Cody McCormick
10 Christian Ehrhoff – 52 Alexander Sulzer
20 Henrik Tallinder – 4 Jamie McBain
32 John Scott – 5 Chad Ruhwedel
30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth