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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Pat Kaleta (Bill Wippert)

As far as the injury front is concerned, no news is good news for the Buffalo Sabres.

Both Patrick Kaleta and Henrik Tallinder were at practice Thursday afternoon, preparing for Friday’s contest against the Ottawa Senators.

Both left Wednesday’s 3-2 shootout win prematurely due to different ailments.

Kaleta was forced out after he started experiencing neck soreness following a hit along the boards in the Sabres zone. Tallinder, meanwhile, felt some dizziness late in the game.

“He feels a lot better,” said Head Coach Lindy Ruff regarding his defenseman. “This morning he felt real good so no issues.”

Lindy Ruff Interview
Raffi Torres Interview
Steve Montador Interview
Patrick Kaleta Interview
Jason Pominville Interview

Kaleta has had some issues with his neck in the past, including missing a total of 27 games in 2008-09. Feeling rattled, the coaching staff opted to sideline him for the remainder of the game as a preventative measure.

“I knew what it was right off the bat,” Kaleta said. “They recognized it early and obviously they took a little precautionary action, which probably is the smartest thing to do. I would rather play no matter what, but they want me to be ready for tomorrow and the next game.”

“But already after the game he was feeling better,” Ruff said. “So I don’t think there is going to be an issue with him either. He just had to take a little time off.”

The only remaining player on the Sabres roster that is trying to get healthy is Raffi Torres.

The winger missed his third consecutive contest Wednesday night with an upper body injury. While there is still no timetable for his return, Torres is listed as day-to-day.

“We’re just waiting for the injury to feel a little bit better,” Ruff said. "When that gets better he’ll get back in.”

Torres did not practice with the team Thursday, but said that he has been skating on his own. While the injury has yet to be disclosed, he said it has primarily affected his ability to shoot. Torres said he attempted to take a one-timer during practice when he felt something was wrong.

“I couldn’t snap the puck. If I’m not shooting then I’m not really doing much out there,” he said. “It’s just something that’s going to take some time here.

“Nothing major or anything like that. Just taking some time and giving it some time to heal.”

Paul Gaustad will make an appearance at Anderson’s Frozen Custard in Williamsville tonight (6075 Main Street) from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Fans can meet the winger, get autographs and pick up a limited-edition New Era cap, bearing his nickname ‘Goose.’

All proceeds will benefit Gaustad’s favorite charity, Camp Good Days and Special Times; an organization dedicated to helping children in WNY affected by cancer.

For more information, click here.

Hasek’s Heroes will host the 2010 Willie O’Ree Skills Showcase this weekend. Sponsored by the NHL, the event will bring together more than 45 children from youth hockey organizations throughout North America as part of the Hockey is for Everyone initiative.

The festivities include a tour of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, an on-ice clinic led by NHL alumni, the opportunity to attend the Buffalo Sabres match-up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and a chance to play hockey at HSBC Arena.

The opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 27 at Riverside Rink (2607 Niagara Street) in Buffalo. Hockey is for Everyone Ambassador Willie O'Ree will lead the festivities.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be the keynote speaker at the final Power Play Luncheon, on Friday, March 26 at noon in the HSBC Arena 100 Level Harbour Club. will stream the event live on SabresTV for fans that cannot attend. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

This lunch was originally scheduled for March 5. Any ticket holders requesting a refund due to the date change should contact Teresa Belbas at 855-4588.
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