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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres have dealt with numerous injuries this season and they got another scare when head coach Lindy Ruff went down in practice this morning at First Niagara Center.

UPDATE (4:07 p.m.): Ruff has three broken ribs; he is expected to be at practice on Tuesday.

Towards the end of the practice during one-on-one battle drills, defenseman Jordan Leopold lost an edge coming up the ice on Ruff’s blindside and ended up taking the Sabres bench boss down. Ruff hit the ice hard and took a minute or two before skating off for treatment. 

“I lost my breath. I was looking back and right when it happened and I kind of yelled, ‘Are you all right? Are you all right?’ And right away, ‘No,’ so that wasn’t a good thing,” Leopold said. “I know Lindy’s a tough guy, he’s played a lot of games in the NHL and played through a lot of injuries. Your body ends up hurting more and more, I think, every day the older you get. That was one of those unexpected ones. Those ones are dangerous.”

Ruff was not available to the media after practice and his status will be updated later today.

Ryan Miller became the Sabres’ all-time career wins leader with a shootout victory over the Islanders on Saturday. In last four starts, Miller is 3-0-1 with a 1.17 goals against average and .962 save percentage.

“To own a piece of history here with a great organization is a source of pride for me,” Miller said after today’s practice. “Try and enjoy it as much as I can, riding this brief little break we have and then get back to work.”

Miller’s 235th win was also his 33rd career shootout victory. The goalie he passed, Dominik Hasek, played in a time when there were no game-deciding shootouts. Miller explained that he understands the difference in eras and that he’s fortunate to playing in a period with the shootout, where he’s been able to accelerate some of those wins.

“I’m not trying to draw any comparisons. I know there’s an asterisk next to it because Dom would have had his fair share of shootout wins,” Miller said. “But for me right now, the way it’s written up, I’m trying to enjoy it and take something positive, something nice from it.”

Lines from today’s practice:
Ville Leino-Derek Roy-Jason Pominville
Nathan Gerbe-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford
Paul Gaustad-Cody McCormick-Patrick Kaleta
Cody McCormick-Matt Ellis-Luke Adam

Thomas Vanek did not practice and because Ruff was unavailable afterwards, no update was provided on his condition.

Rochester Americans center Paul Szczechura has been selected as the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 5, 2012. In three games last week, Szczechura tallied four goals and two assists for six points as the Americans went 2-0-1-0. Szczechura notched an assist in Rochester’s 3-0 win over Abbotsford on Feb. 2, and scored the game-tying goal in the third period as the Amerks earned a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Heat the next night. Finally, Szczechura scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in a 5-4 overtime win at Syracuse on Feb. 4, capping a four-point night and his first career hat trick. A fifth-year pro in his first season with the Buffalo Sabres organization, Szczechura has recorded 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) and a plus-10 rating in 28 games for Rochester this season, while adding one goal and three assists in nine NHL games with Buffalo. For his career, the native of Brantford, Ont., has appeared in 242 career AHL contests, registering 71 goals and 101 assists for 172 points. He also has 10 goals and 10 assists in 92 NHL games with Buffalo and Tampa Bay.


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