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MYERS RETURNS AS SABRES HOST HABS

by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres will have defenseman Tyler Myers back in the lineup Friday night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at First Niagara Center.

Myers missed Wednesday’s game with a lower-body injury and the defensive corps was clearly missing his presence on the blue line. He was expected to play, but early in the afternoon before the game, he needed some extra medical attention and was ruled out.

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s taken away from you for a little bit,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “He’s a big part of our team and we’re excited about having him back for sure.”

The Sabres had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to the Jets on Wednesday and will look to bounce back with a home-and-home series against the Canadiens. The Tops Gamenight pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. on MSG-B and Bell TV. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.

The two clubs will square off again Saturday night at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Myers said the team has put a heavier emphasis on reviewing video lately and watching even more video has allowed the players to make better adjustments during games.

“As of late, we’ve been a better team the way we’ve worked. We’ve worked a lot smarter,” he said. “I don’t think it’s so much about working harder but we were just smarter without our positioning and support.

“Our support was better but it’s something we have to continue to keep focusing on. With the team we have, we can’t afford to take a night off and it’s just something we have to make sure it’s something we’re preparing for every game.”

Jhonas Enroth will start in goal and Nolan didn’t rule out the possibility of him playing again on Saturday.

Enroth has not allowed an even-strength goal in his last 208:35, posting a 1.50 goals-against average and a .956 save percentage over that three-game stretch.


YOUNG D STEPPING UP
With both members of Buffalo’s top pair – Myers and alternate captain Josh Gorges – unavailable last game, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov saw increased time against Winnipeg’s top offensive threats.

“I like to play more and more and that’s good for me,” Ristolainen said. “So far it’s been good with me and Nikita. We just have to learn and play better every day.”

Gorges is currently on injured reserve as he recovers from a lower-body injury sustained on Nov. 11. He was hoping to be back this weekend, and while Saturday is still a possibility, Nolan said it’s unlikely that they’ll risk Gorges having a major setback by forcing him back into the lineup.


PROJECTED LINEUP
26 Matt Moulson – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 63 Tyler Ennis
65 Brian Flynn – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 19 Cody Hodgson – 21 Drew Stafford
82 Marcus Foligno – 36 Patrick Kaleta – 80 Chris Stewart

24 Tyson Strachan – 57 Tyler Myers
51 Nikita Zadorov – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Mike Weber – 41 Andrej Meszaros

1 Jhonas Enroth
34 Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: 61 Andre Benoit
Injured: 8 Cody McCormick (concussion protocol)
Injured Reserve: 4 Josh Gorges (lower body), 31 Matt Hackett (knee)

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