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KALETA'S STATUS UNCLEAR FOR TONIGHT

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 12:03 PM ET
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE

LINEUP NEWS
- Ryan Miller will start in goal tonight.
- Patrick Kaleta did not take part in morning skate; his status for tonight is unclear.



WHAT THEY WERE SAYING THIS MORNING

Lindy Ruff
(CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE RUFF AUDIO)
On the playing status of Patrick Kaleta
Pat got in this morning and wasn’t feeling well. We’ll get him through it, and get him going. It’s all you can do. There’s nothing else you can do about it.

What’s the difference you’ve seen in the Leafs this season?
I think right now it’s their depth in scoring. They’ve got two or three lines that are producing. Their power play has been good, but their penalty killing has struggled a little bit. They struggled a bit when Reimer was out, but he’s back now.

Have you noticed a difference in Tim Connolly’s play so far this season?
I see the same. Even with us, I think we would’ve won the Flyers series if we don’t lose him. He was that important of a player to us at that time. He was a big part of our power play, and he was our number one penalty killer. I think that’s something that goes really unnoticed. He’s a penalty killer that will lay it on the line. He’ll go down on both knees to block shots, he’ll block one timers. You go back to the Flyers series, he gave up his body three or four times. Where as you look at some skill players in the league and they’ll be doing the double flamingo.

Jason Pominville (CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE POMINVILLE AUDIO)
Do you think the fans and media were too hard on Connolly when he was here?
I think a lot was expected out of him because of his ability offensively. But a lot of things that he did away from that might have been underestimated. His play away from the puck, the way he killed penalties, and on most nights he would play against the other team’s top line. Those are things the players notice, but other people might not. He did what he had to do.



Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy will both be playing in their 500th NHL games tonight. The pair will become just the 25th and 26th players to suit up for 500 or more games with the Sabres in franchise history, and join Jochen Hecht as the only other active SabreS on the list. Vanek (415 pts) and Roy (403 pts) are 12th and 13th respectively in all-time franchise scoring.



Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of a league-high 21 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Sabres are 5-3-0 in the first game and 5-3-0 in the second. The Sabres have swept two sets and split six. They continue this set tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.
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