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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres

With the late arrival from Montreal, the Sabres held a team meeting this morning at First Niagara Center followed by an optional skate. Only a handful of players skated in preparation for tonight’s game against the Rangers (7:30 p.m.). Paul Gaustad and Lindy Ruff both spoke to the media today and commented on the incident during last night’s game involving Gaustad and Montreal forward Max Pacioretty. Excerpts from their comments along with the full audio links are below.

- Thomas Vanek is out; more will be known about his condition later today.
- Ruff said another forward is also sick, so a recall from Rochester will be coming.

Paul Gaustad (click to hear full audio)
With all the talking that goes on the ice during games, how surprised were you the Canadiens talked about it in the media afterwards?
I figured you guys were gonna ask me about that today. I’m gonna address it for the last time today. It’s something where Pacioretty said something to me; I said something back along the same lines. And the guy (Mathieu Darche) that kinda brought it up in the media wasn’t even involved with it. For Darche to bring it up in the media, in my opinion, stuff that happens on the ice stays on the ice. I don’t want to blow it out of proportion. You have to have thick skin in the NHL. I’m fine with it, so just move on. It’s something where it – trash talking – happens in the NHL almost every game. So it’s no surprise. Again, I think that stuff should stay on the ice, and just move on to the next game.

Lindy Ruff (click to hear full audio)
What are your thoughts on the trash talk incident last night – did you know about it?
I knew about it. I think that I could give you one situation every night. For them to go public, I thought was ridiculous on their part. I think they were looking for something to talk about or feel good about after that game, and they’re barking up the wrong tree if you ask me.

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Buffalo on Dec. 10.
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 160th game all-time between Buffalo and NY Rangers; Buffalo leads the series with a 76-53-30 record. Buffalo is 46-23-12 at home against the Rangers all-time.
  • The two teams will next meet on Feb. 25 in New York.

  • The Sabres have points in their last seven home games (4-0-3). The team last had points in seven straight when they ended last season by going 6-0-1 in their last seven at First Niagara Center. The last time Buffalo had points in more than seven consecutive home games came in 2009-10, when they went 9-0-3 in 12 games from Dec. 9 to Jan. 29.
  • Buffalo is seeking its first three-game win streak since since winning four straight from Nov. 4 to Nov. 11.
  • Ryan Miller tied Dominik Hasek’s franchise win record in last night’s win at Montreal.
  • With Thomas Vanek expected to be sidelined tonight with an upper body injury sustained in last night’s win, Jason Pominville will be Buffalo’s only skater to have dressed for every game this season.
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