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POSTED ON Friday, 06.20.2014 / 11:17 AM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS
The coming week could potentially be a pretty busy one.
  • On Saturday, the NHL will announce the date of each club’s home opener.
  • The full NHL schedule is set to be released Sunday afternoon.
  • On Monday, the Hockey Hall of Fame will announce its Class of 2014. Former Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek is eligible for induction this year. Hasek was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in April and will have his No. 39 retired during the 2014-15 season.
  • On Thursday, the NHL Board of Governors will meet in New York City.
  • On Friday, June 27, the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft will begin at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
  • Round 2 will begin on Saturday, June 28 at 10 a.m.

Stay tuned to Sabres.com for developments on all fronts.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.20.2014 / 10:56 AM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS


The Buffalo Sabres are looking for new assistant coaches and general manager Tim Murray and coach Ted Nolan are getting closer to narrowing down their list of candidates.

“We compared names – guys that have called him, guys that have called me,” Murray said on Thursday. “He’s talked to a lot of potential assistants in the last couple weeks so he’ll talk to them. He’ll tell me what he thinks of them and then we have to come to a decision together – who the right guys are. So it’s in the process.”

Murray confirmed that Joe Sacco has accepted a job within the organization as a professional scout. Sacco was relieved of his assistant coaching duties at the end of the season but was then offered this new role.

He’s already been given the team’s list of unrestricted free agent targets and has been familiarizing himself with the software that the scouts use.

“I think as an assistant coach and a head coach the last few years that he has some insight on some of those players – not every player on that list – but some players on that list,” Murray said. “He’s excited and he’s ready to go.”

Murray is responsible for the management of the Rochester Americans as well. Chadd Cassidy has been retained as head coach and – for now – his entire staff is returning as well. That, however, doesn’t mean that circumstances could change.

“Today, yes. Things happen every day, right? I met with Chadd yesterday. We had a great meeting. The staff was back today,” Murray said. “That’s not to say if Jacques Lemaire called and said he’d love to be the third assistant in Rochester that we wouldn’t hire him, right? But the staff is back as is, yes.”

Murray also said he's offered Randy Cunneyworth a new job within the organization but is waiting to hear back from him. Cunneyworth served as a special assistant and player development coach last season, with a focus on the Amerks.

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.20.2014 / 10:32 AM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS


While the 2014 NHL Draft is a week away, Sabres general manager Tim Murray also has free agency on his mind.

He told reporters on Thursday that he’s fielded calls from agents around the League to find out what areas the team would like to address come July 1.

“We have needs everywhere and when I talk to GMs or agents – more agents – [about] their potential free agent list, they ask, ‘What are your needs?’ And we have needs everywhere,” Murray said. “On this team and in Rochester, probably goaltending is what I say is not a pressing need. But everywhere else, we can use help throughout the lineup. ”

“…And when you get those calls, I assume that they have people in their stable that they feel this is the right spot. I don’t think they’re just calling all 30 GMs and asking that question.”

Murray is also exploring trade routes, not just for another first-round pick in this year’s draft, but for players that can help the team next season as well. He also said he’s looking at “late bloomers” – players hitting free agency that are 27 or 28 and feel they will have better opportunities with another club.

What’s attractive to some players may not be attractive to other players. I think we’re attractive to a certain type of playerTim Murray

“What’s attractive to some players may not be attractive to other players. I think we’re attractive to a certain type of player,” he said.

He also didn't agree with the idea that the team would overpay for players with limited talent and upside.

“I don’t think they necessarily all have to be bad players,” he said. “I think they can be guys that need an opportunity that certainly see opportunity here.”

The salary cap is expected to go up, so that means it will also cost more to reach the floor. Murray doesn’t think hitting that number is going to be much of a problem for his club. The challenge is spending that money on the right players.

The cap floor is something he really doesn’t like talking about.

“I hear about it all the time. It’s a distraction. You get into the middle of a meeting and then someone walks in the door and talks about the floor,” he said. “It’s easy to spend money. I don’t like spending money but it’s easy to spend money. People want your money so it’s not hard to give away. It’s just, are the right players or are the guys we like, are they going to approach us to take our money?”

Murray then went on to address the front office’s decision to use a compliance buyout on forward Ville Leino’s contract. Leino signed a six-year deal with the team in 2011. He finished his three-year tenure with the Sabres with 10 goals and 36 assists in 137 games.

“If you’re talking in Ville’s instance, the alternative, to buy him out and keep him on the cap is six years. That’s not interesting to us,” he said.

If the Sabres had used a standard buyout on Leino’s contract, the payout would count against the cap for double the length of the term remaining. Murray expects the team to be increasingly competitive each year and he would rather be able to allocate that money elsewhere.

“Six years down the road is not suitable to have that cap hit. And to keep [Leino] on the team – after we had our internal meetings and decided that he didn’t fit going forward – that was not an option either,” he said. “So this was the only option and I don’t think that’s going to affect our ability to get to the floor.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 06.20.2014 / 8:58 AM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS


Two restricted free agents are going to have Tim Murray’s attention this summer. The Buffalo Sabres general manager said that he’s talked with Tyler Ennis’ agent and has had discussions this week with Marcus Foligno’s agent as well.

Ennis, in his fourth full NHL season, scored a career-high 21 goals in 2013-14 and he became more confident as the season wore on.

On Thursday, Murray shot down the notion that the term and value of Ennis' new contract will be tied to the necessity of reaching the salary cap floor.

“I like his approach to the game. I like his compete level. I like his speed,” Murray said of Ennis. “There’s a lot of things I like about him and if we can do a long-term deal with him then obviously the decision we’ve made is we’d go forward with him.”

The Sabres selected Ennis in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft (26th overall).

ENNIS: "I'M GLAD I GOT 21 BUT I WANT TO GET 30. I WANT TO GET 40."

At his year-end press conference, Murray said that Foligno was contemplating surgery on his shoulder and he confirmed on Thursday that Foligno did in fact go through with a procedure. According to Murray, the injury affected the 22-year-old wing’s play last season.

Foligno finished the year with 19 points and 82 penalty minutes in 74 games.

“He had shoulder surgery which I think hindered his year a little bit this year. So there might be a philosophical difference on what they think he could’ve achieved versus what he did achieve,” Murray told SabresTV’s Brian Duff.

Because of that potential, Murray sees Foligno as a vital piece moving forward.

FOLIGNO STRIVES FOR CONSISTENCY

“I think that Marcus is somebody that we want to go forward with here. He’s a big body with skill,” Murray said. “When we’re looking at the draft or we’re looking at free agency, that’s the type of player we’re trying to acquire. We have him in the organization. We have to work with him.”

Buffalo’s other restricted free agents include forwards Cory Conacher, Luke Adam and Shawn Szydlowski, defensemen Jamie McBain, Chad Ruhwedel, Nick Crawford and Matt MacKenzie and goaltenders Matt Hackett and Connor Knapp.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 3:04 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / 2014 NHL DRAFT


Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said at his pre-draft press conference Thursday that he expects defenseman Aaron Ekblad to be off the board by the time his team is on the clock.

The Sabres hold the second overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, which begins on June 27 in Philadelphia. Florida is slated to pick first, but is reportedly fielding offers from other teams.

Therefore, Murray said there’s “a very good chance” that the Sabres will select Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett or Leon Draisaitl with their first pick.

Ekblad is the top-ranked defenseman in the draft by NHL Central Scouting. For Murray, it’s really a just question of which team picks him.

“I believe that Ekblad is going to go one and then we pick who we have left – the next guy on our list,” Murray said. “If he doesn’t go one, I’d be surprised I guess, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

WATCH FULL PRESS CONFERENCE

Reinhart and Bennett have been regarded for some time now as the top two draft-eligible centers, but Draisaitl has recently worked his way into the discussion. Murray said that Draisaitl is “right there” among this year’s top forwards.

“There are guys that aren’t being talked about that are potentially part of that,” Murray said. “It’s a copycat league, so LA wins the Cup again and the terminology is ‘They’re heavy.’ So you’ve got guys like [Nick] Ritchie and [Jake] Virtanen that are good players that are heavy. Teams are looking for heavy.”

As to whom the Sabres will take, the pick won’t be based on any perceived need.

“We’re taking the best player available,” Murray said, noting that the team has a lot of needs.

And what are some of Murray’s expectations for this draft, his first as a GM?

“The perfect draft?” he pondered. “Our first pick is going to be what we consider a very good player. Use assets to get back into the first round and pick a player we feel down the road […] can play. Hit on one or two of your seconds and hit somewhere later in the draft. I would consider that a very good draft.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 06.19.2014 / 2:42 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / 2014 NHL DRAFT

If Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray has his way, the team will have multiple first-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Buffalo Sabres currently holds the second-overall pick and right now, he plans to use that pick on June 27.

However, Murray said at his pre-draft press conference at First Niagara Center that he’s looking to move some assets to get back into the middle of that first round.

The Sabres are slated to pick three times in the second round at 31, 39 and 49.

“I have been trying hard to do that and the people I’ve talked to haven’t said no, but nobody’s called back and said, ‘Yeah, let’s do this deal,’” Murray said. “But I’ve got a lot of potential deals out there that have a first coming back involved, whether it’s in the 20s or the teens.

“I just feel if I can get something in the 20s or teens, that maybe you can do something with that too. But I’m trying. I guess we’ll see come Draft Day if I have more than one.”

He’s also not against taking back a player with a large contract if it means receiving a first-round pick in the deal. That player wouldn’t necessarily be acquired for the sole purpose of buying him out, either.

“I would make a trade for a larger contract to get a first-round pick involved, yes. It’s still a trade. Every trade that every team makes, money is a consideration,” he said. “So I’m not going to say that I would just make that trade to buy the guy out. If that happens, it happens. I may take a contract on to play here. It would depend on the player.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL PRESS CONFERENCE

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 2:54 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

NEW YORK – The Buffalo Sabres have earned at least a point in seven of their last eight road games against the New York Rangers and will look to avoid a season sweep on Thursday.

They’ll have some more healthy bodies back in the lineup as right wing Drew Stafford will return and defenseman Henrik Tallinder declared himself ready to go as well.

Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Madison Square Garden.

Stafford and Tallinder, who both serve as alternate captains, have each missed the past four games due to injury.

Tallinder, 35, is the oldest player on the team and is happy to be able to play in the team’s final three games of the season.

“I think it’s just trying to finish what you started. I’m just looking forward to playing again,” he said after the team’s morning skate at MSG. “You never like to be sitting out or being hurt and stuff like that, so I’m just happy that my body feels healthy again.”

He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and he said he wants to keep playing hockey, preferably in the NHL. He said he isn’t going to close the door on any potential opportunity and that includes returning to Buffalo next season.

“I love hockey more than ever almost even though it’s been a tough year,” he said. “But when you get older, you kind of learn to appreciate what you have. This is what I love to do so I’m going to keep playing as long as I can.”

The Sabres have a lot of young players in the lineup, particularly on the blueline. They dressed three rookies last game but sent Mark Pysyk back to Rochester of the American Hockey League on Thursday because of Tallinder’s pending return.

Tallinder said he hasn’t had to change his game much as he’s gotten older, but has learned that it takes a little bit longer for older players to warm up to the speed of the game.

“I don’t have the jump that I used to have, maybe, but you know what? I always try to explain this to people. It’s tough to explain, but when you get older, you’re kind of like a diesel engine,” he said. “It takes a while to get going, but once you get going, it’s OK. Then you can compete with these – I don’t know, what do you say – jet fuel that they have. Once you’re in and you get going, you can compete with anyone.”


Zenon Konopka worked with the assistant coaches after practice and looks to be one of Buffalo’s healthy scratches. Nolan said that John Scott would take warmups just in case Tallinder faces a setback.

Matt Hackett will start in goal against Henrik Lundqvist.


Chris Stewart and Marcus Foligno were two Sabres forwards that returned from injury in the team’s last game. Sabres coach Ted Nolan tried them together on a line with Tyler Ennis at center. After the game Nolan said he was hoping for a little bit more from them.

With a few extra days of practice in, Nolan said some of the rust should be shaken off.

“I was hoping but then reality checks in. Stewart, you have to give him full marks for the work and effort he put in to get back in the lineup. We didn’t think he was going to be in at all. But he’s worked extremely hard to get back in,” Nolan said. “Marcus, the same thing. We thought he was done for the year and then he worked to get himself back in.

“But then I forgot about the timing aspect of the game and a little rustiness and your timing’s off a little bit. So, hopefully tonight they’ll be a lot better.”

At practice on Wednesday, Stewart was on the left wing with Ennis and Stafford while Foligno was on a line with center Brian Flynn and right wing Matt D’Agostini. The Sabres did not do any line rushes during their morning skate on Thursday.

Nolan said after the skate that he’ll mix the lines up to try and find a balanced four-line attack.


Ennis has 12 points (4+8) in 13 career games against the Rangers, including two of his six career three-point games, which came on April 6, 2010 and on March 23, 2012. Stafford has seven points (6+1) in his last seven games against the Rangers.

Cody Hodgson has recorded consecutive multi-point games for the second time in his career entering the game against the Rangers. The last time he’d done that was on March 19, 2012 at Tampa Bay and March 21, 2012 against Montreal.

He has never had three straight multi-point games. In 69 games played, Hodgson has already set new career highs in assists (24) and points (43). He’s also matched his career high in goals with 19.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 4:20 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

At forward, the Buffalo Sabres are close to full strength.

Drew Stafford is set to return to the lineup when the Sabres take on the New York Rangers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. He’s missed the past four games due to injury, but practiced with the team at First Niagara Center on Wednesday and said he feels like he’s ready to go.

He skated on a like with Tyler Ennis and Chris Stewart with Cory Conacher rotating in and out of line rushes.

Stafford has battled injuries in the second half of the season, but when he’s been on the ice, he’s been productive.

Stafford has averaged 20:04 of ice time and posted 20 points (11+9) in 26 games since the season’s halfway mark. In the 41 games prior to the midway point, Stafford had 13 points (4+9) in and averaged 17:36 per game.

He’s hoping to finish the last three games of the season off strong.

“It’s been like that for a while. With us being out of the playoffs, we’re playing for pride, playing to just get a little bit of respect and hopefully finish the year strong,” he said. “Have a healthy, productive summer and just get ready for next year. It all starts with just trying to have a good finish.”

Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Marcus Foligno each returned from injury Tuesday night against Detroit. Zenon Konopka is also healthy.

Since they’re back, the team sent Nicolas Deslauriers and Johan Larsson back to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.


On defense, the Sabres are without Tyler Myers, Alexander Sulzer and Chad Ruhwedel. Henrik Tallinder has also missed the past four games, but hopes to play on Thursday as well. He and Sabres coach Ted Nolan have deemed him a gametime decision.

“You can still feel it a little bit, but it’s not pain so that’s good,” Tallinder said. “…If it’s going to be worse tomorrow then I’m not going to play, but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”

Once Tallinder is ready, the team will send Mark Pysyk back to the Amerks. Nolan said they haven’t decided if Rasmus Ristolainen will play out the season in Buffalo because it depends on the number of healthy bodies they have available.

Nolan also said that with only three games remaining and with Myers not practicing with the team, that it’s likely the defenseman’s season is over. Myers got hurt on March 25 when he crashed into the goal post after getting tripped up on an offensive rush.

The team would rather see him condition in the offseason than rehab.

“We’re going on the road for two games and we come back for one and he hasn’t stepped on the ice for a week so, I’m a betting man, he’s not going to see any more game action until next season,” Nolan said.


In goal, Nolan plans to start Matt Hackett the rest of the way out.

Andrey Makarov has been recalled to back him up, but he’ll return to the Amerks to play Friday night. The Amerks play games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week as they try to clinch a playoff berth.

Makarov has been solid for the Amerks since he was called up from the ECHL on March 17. In six games with Rochester, he’s posted a 3-3-0 record and registered a 2.70 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

“I’ll just enjoy my moment right now and be on the bench and help my teammates and just support my teammates,” Makarov said. “I think it’s a great feeling.”

The Sabres will have to find another back-up goaltender for their games on Saturday and Sunday once they send Makarov back to Rochester.


80 Chris Stewart – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford – 88 Cory Conacher
19 Cody Hodgson – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 17 Torrey Mitchell
82 Marcus Foligno – 65 Brian Flynn – 27 Matt D’Agostini
37 Matt Ellis - 24 Zenon Konopka – 23 Ville Leino

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Mike Weber – 4 Jamie McBain
29 Jake McCabe – 3 Mark Pysyk

31 Matt Hackett
35 Andrey Makarov

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 1:24 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / THE MORNING SKATE

Marcus Foligno and Christian Ehrhoff will play Tuesday night and they’ll be joined by some faces that may still be relatively new to Buffalo Sabres fans.

Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Jake McCabe will play their first game in front of the fans at First Niagara Center as the Sabres host the Detroit Red Wings at 7 p.m.

Matt Hackett will start in goal while defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, goaltender Nathan Lieuwen and forwards Ville Leino, Zenon Konopka and Drew Stafford will be among those not suiting up for Buffalo.

Leino and Konopka will be healthy scratches while Sabres coach Ted Nolan hopes Stafford will be recovered from injury in time for Buffalo’s game against the New York Rangers on Thursday.


It’s unlikely that either Ruhwedel or Lieuwen will be ready for any of Buffalo’s final four games of the season. They sustained concussions on separate plays in the third period of Buffalo’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

The NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Monday that Zac Rinaldo has been suspended four games for his illegal check to the head of Ruhwedel.

Lieuwen was hit in the head by Flyers forward Jay Rosehill as Rosehill cut across the goal crease late in the game. Lieuwen was not feeling well after the game and Nolan announced Monday morning he had also been diagnosed with a concussion.

Both players have been instructed by doctors to stay home and get plenty of rest.

An explanation of Rinaldo’s suspension decision can be found here:

Nolan said he would’ve liked to have seen a longer sentence handed out.

“Those types of hits have to be out of our game. You’re not talking about injuries knocking a guy out for a week or two weeks. You can knock his career right off the tracks and we all see what concussions do to some of our athletes after the fact,” he said after the team's morning skate on Tuesday. “So it’s a very, very serious thing and I think we have to take it a lot more seriously than just four games.”


Mark Pysyk has been recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League to take Ruhwedel’s place in the lineup.

Pysyk joins the Sabres for his second recall of the year and third stint in Buffalo this season after beginning the 2013-14 season with the team.

He has appeared in 42 games with the Sabres this season, recording six points (1+5). While playing with the Amerks in 2013-14, Pysyk has notched 12 points (1+11) through 27 games played. He recently missed about two weeks due to injury, but said he’s feeling fine now.

He’s going to look to keep things simple and continue to develop his game.

“I didn’t think I would get another look. I think the injuries, obviously, there’s been a ton up here and I got the call last night – definitely excited for the opportunity,” he said. “It’ll be fun to play here again. That’s what I’m going to do: just have fun and make the most of the exposure I’m going to get here.”

Nolan said he can tell the time in Rochester has helped Pysyk grow as a player. He also compared his development to the way the Red Wings try to keep their prospects in the minors until they’re ready for the NHL.

“I think with his development, he’s just getting more mature. We get back to the question about Detroit and how they develop. That’s how they develop,” Nolan said. “They put those kids on the farm team and let them mature, let them grow and that’s exactly what Mark is doing. And he’s going to be a great player for us down the road.”


With injuries to goaltenders Jhonas Enroth, Michal Neuvirth and Lieuwen, the Sabres called up Andrey Makarov from the Amerks as well.

Makarov will back up Hackett against Detroit and in New York when the Sabres play the Rangers on Thursday. However, Rochester plays on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so Makarov will rejoin the Amerks and general manager Tim Murray will have to find another backup goaltender.

“That’s where Tim has to work his magic,” Nolan said. “I’m not quite too sure what we’re going to do.”

After tonight’s game, Makarov will have dressed in games in the ECHL, AHL and NHL.He'll become the 45th player and eigth goaltender to dress in a game for the Sabres this season.


Stewart will play in his first game since March 6 when he sustained a lower-body injury after colliding with Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback. His injury was originally thought to be season-ending, but he’s worked hard with the training staff to get back on the ice ahead of schedule.

He’s set to play on a line with center Tyler Ennis and left wing Marcus Foligno, who is also returning from a lower-body injury that’s caused him to miss the past two games.

Nolan is looking forward to seeing what Stewart can bring to the lineup.

“I’m really excited about him. Last time he played with Marcus, that was probably Marcus’ best game he played for us since I’ve been here,” Nolan said. “He’s probably going to be a little bit rusty, but it’s good to get him back in the lineup for sure.”

The team acquired Stewart as part of the trade that sent Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues and at 6-foot-2, 231-pounds, he brings a big, physical element the Sabres don’t have in abundance.

“Stewart’s a power forward in the real sense of the word. He’s a big man,” Nolan said. “He can play any way you want to play so for us to get him in that trade deadline, it’s exactly what we need.”


Ehrhoff will be in the lineup after taking a puck to the ear late in the game on Sunday. His right ear was cut as a result and required approximately 40 stitches to repair it. Naturally, he’s been given some new nicknames by his teammates.

“It’s ‘Ear-off.’ That’s the most common one I think,” he said. “But I guess when I have a situation like that, the jokers, they always come out pretty quick, too.”

Ehrhoff said he experienced a similar situation when he was with the Vancouver Canucks. A dump-in caught him in the other ear. He said that wasn’t as serious an injury as the one he’s now recovering from.


As part of Fan Appreciation Month, there will be a guaranteed $30,000 50/50 pot during the game with a second chance lottery winner for $1,000 pulled at www.sabresraffles.org.

Fans attending the game will also be able to save 40 percent off at the Sabres Store Powered by Reebok and save on select concession stand items ($3 peanuts, $3 candy and $3 nachos). Also, 26 season-ticket holders will be randomly selected to win autographed Sabres jerseys throughout the game.

Fan Appreciation Night presented by ADPRO Sports is set for the season finale on Sunday. A Party in the Plaza presented by Tops Friendly Markets will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. outside First Niagara Center. The Sabres, along with their Gold Ring Partners, will present the annual team awards for MVP, Rookie of the Year and Unsung Hero as well as the 7th Man Award.

Fans attending that game will also be treated to a pregame handout, a 40 percent off discount at the Sabres Store, as well as discounted concession prices including hot dogs ($2), pizza slices ($4) and souvenir sodas ($3).

More information on Fan Appreciation Month can be found here.


PROJECTED LINEUP
82 Marcus Foligno – 63 Tyler Ennis – 80 Chris Stewart
19 Cody Hodgson – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 17 Torrey Mitchell
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 22 Johan Larsson – 27 Matt D’Agostini
88 Cory Conacher – 37 Matt Ellis – 65 Brian Flynn

10 Christian Ehrhoff – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Mike Weber – 4 Jamie McBain
29 Jake McCabe – 3 Mark Pysyk

31 Matt Hackett
35 Andrey Makarov

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:41 PM
By Chris Ryndak - Sabres.com (@chrisryndak) / BEYOND THE BOARDS

Even with some healthy bodies on the way, the Buffalo Sabres have added a few more names to their injury report.

Marcus Foligno will be back in the lineup Tuesday night when Buffalo hosts the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center. Chris Stewart, Torrey Mitchell and Christian Ehrhoff will be gametime decisions.

Two Sabres sustained concussions in their game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

Chad Ruhwedel was hit in the head by Philadelphia Flyers wing Zac Rinaldo early in the third period and was forced to leave the game. Rinaldo was given a match penalty for hitting Ruhwedel, was ejected by the game and faces a hearing with the NHL on Monday.

“The League will take care of that,” Nolan said after practice on Monday at First Niagara Center. “They’ve seen the same thing we’ve all seen so I’m quite sure they’ll do what’s required.”

Goaltender Nathan Lieuwen took a shot to the head from Flyers forward Jay Rosehill late in the game as Rosehill cut across the crease. He finished the game, but did not feel well enough to speak with the media afterward.

Lieuwen has a history of concussions that nearly derailed his career back when he played junior hockey.

The Sabres medical staff will treat both cases with extreme care and caution.

“Whether it’s your first or your second, concussions are very serious,” Nolan said. “And that hit to Chad’s head last night, there’s no place for them in the game. You’re not just talking about knocking a player out for a couple weeks or maybe six months, you’re talking about altering his lifestyle. It’s a very serious thing so we’ll be very cautious with it for sure.”

Lieuwen joins Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth as goaltenders that are done for the season. Matt Hackett will start for Buffalo on Tuesday, but they’ll have to find another backup goaltender.

The Sabres have dressed seven different goaltenders already this season with five different netminders making starts.


Ehrhoff was hit in the right ear with the puck as the Flyers game wrapped up and immediately skated to the dressing room. It took about 40 stitches to piece the ear back together and Nolan said it doesn’t appear he sustained any other head injury.

Ehrhoff will be a gametime decision against Detroit.


Nolan said that Foligno will be back in on Tuesday, which is somewhat surprising considering the original prognosis had him missing the rest of the season. Foligno fell in front of the net on his first shift in St. Louis on Thursday and was in noticeable discomfort. He had to be helped off the ice and did not return to the game.

However, Sunday morning, he was skating with the team in Philadelphia.

“It feels really good,” Foligno said on Monday. “It’s kind of almost back to normal. It feels good enough to play so hopefully I’ll be able to play tomorrow. Just somewhat more of a bone bruise. I think I just jammed it up pretty good. It was a scary incident and even in that moment, you want to take caution and make sure that the knee’s good.”

He said the way he fell and allowing his body to take most of the impact helped lessen the potential damage that could’ve been done.

“If I would’ve fallen on my knee, it would’ve been a lot worse,” he said. “I’m lucky that I dodged a bullet.”


Mitchell told the media after practice that he feels like he’s ready to play after missing 10 games with an injury. He said something didn’t feel right in midway through the game on March 16 but played through it. He’s skated in Buffalo the past few days.

He’s been on the injured list twice since Buffalo acquired him from the Minnesota Wild on March 5. He got hurt blocking a shot in his first game with the Sabres and missed six games.

Mitchell is looking forward to finishing the season off on a positive note.

“You want to come in and make an impression right away and I wasn’t able to do that because I got hurt,” he said. “But there’s an opportunity with four games left to try and show my stuff.”


Stewart met with doctors after practice and the results of that medical visit will play a big role in whether or not he’ll be ready for Tuesday.


Zenon Konopka was on the ice with the team for practice. He said he sustained a lower-body injury in the team’s game on March 23 in Vancouver and that the five-and-a-half-hour flight to Montreal the next day didn’t help his situation. As a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., he’d like to be back in the lineup before the season ends.

“Obviously playing in Buffalo’s a dream come true, so you don’t want to finish the year not playing. So it’s pretty important for me,” he said.


Nolan said that Drew Stafford skated on his own on Tuesday, but he probably wouldn’t be ready until at least Thursday when the Sabres play the Rangers in New York.


Defenseman Tyler Myers has been out of the lineup since the March 16 game against Montreal when he collided with the goalpost after being tripped in front of the net.

“He hasn’t skated in a while, his injury’s pretty significant, so we’ll go week-by-week with him,” Nolan said.

But with only one week and four games left, time may not be on Myers’ side to get back in.

Buffalo practiced with only four defensemen during practice. John Scott filled in on the blue line along with Jake McCabe, Rasmus Ristolainen and Jamie McBain.

Mike Weber did not skate on Monday, but he is expected to play against the Red Wings.

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