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SABRES-LIGHTNING MORNING SKATE UPDATE

Tuesday, 04.05.2011 / 12:46 PM
By Rob Crean - Public Relations Director / BEYOND THE BOARDS
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BEYOND THE BOARDS
SABRES-LIGHTNING MORNING SKATE UPDATE

For the first time in a week, the Sabres had three goalies on the ice during a practice session as Ryan Miller joined Jhonas Enroth and Patrick Lalime at Buffalo’s optional morning skate.  Enroth will get his fourth straight start tonight when the Sabres take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at HSBC Arena, but Miller took a step forward in his recovery from an upper body injury by taking part in the skate.

“He’ll hopefully get almost a full workout with the limited practice today, but it’s a big step,” said Head Coach Lindy Ruff.

If we win games, we’re in. It’s pretty simple. There’s not a lot of math that needs to be done, there’s no crazy formulas or anything. It’s just making sure that we play well and we produce the way we need to.” - Brad Boyes on the playoff race
Miller, who also skated on Monday but did not take any shots, rotated in and out of drills with Enroth and Lalime this morning while facing shots for the first time since last Tuesday’s game at Toronto.  Ruff said that the plan is to “ramp up” Miller’s workouts over the next few days and that Miller “will play when he’s ready.”

4/5 - Lindy Ruff Pregame

Enroth, meanwhile, will look to continue the run that netted him NHL Third Star of the Week honors.  In his three starts since Miller’s injury, the rookie has gone 2-0-1 with a 1.94 goals against average, a .936 save percentage and one shutout.  Each game bears a significant impact on the playoff race, which, according to Enroth, makes it fun.

“These games are very fun to play and these games are the ones you always wanted to play when you were younger, so I’m just having fun with it right now,” Enroth said.

Brad Boyes, who played his first game with Buffalo on March 1 and has helped the team go 11-4-3 since arriving, talked about the importance of each and every game.

“I think right now, we did a great job against Carolina in getting some distance from them, and it’s a matter of just continuing that,” Boyes said.  “If we win games, we’re in.  It’s pretty simple.  There’s not a lot of math that needs to be done, there’s no crazy formulas or anything.  It’s just making sure that we play well and we produce the way we need to.”

Buffalo (40-29-10, 90 points) enters tonight’s game in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings with a three-point lead over ninth-place Carolina.  However, the Sabres trail the Rangers (43-32-5, 91 points) and Canadiens (42-30-7, 91 points) by just one point each.

Leopold
Ruff had encouraging news on Jordan Leopold’s hand injury, reporting that the defenseman will not require surgery.

“He’s seen the doctor, he’s been evaluated and the timeline will be the same.  He’ll be able to skate now,” said Ruff, who added that the timeline for Leopold’s return is “a minimum of around four weeks” from the time of the injury, which occurred March 25 against Florida.

Tampa Bay comes into tonight’s game riding a five-game winning streak and has already locked up a playoff berth.  Over the last five games, the Lightning has allowed just six goals and is coming off a 2-0 shutout win over Chicago on Sunday.  Offensively, the team is led by the dynamic pair of Martin St. Louis (30-64-94) and Steven Stamkos (44-45-89).

According to Ruff, St. Louis, who ranks second in the NHL in scoring, is an exemplary player.

“Marty is a great two-way player.  He’s a guy that, if you want to look at work ethic, you could study him and watch his game day in and day out.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82