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Sabres Regroup After Break

Monday, 02.27.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Sabres Regroup After Break

February 27, 2006
by Brian Wheeler

The Buffalo Sabres skated with almost four full lines for the first time in nearly two weeks on Monday afternoon. Returning to action on Wednesday night against an Atlanta team that is attempting to claw its way into playoff position, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff is looking regain his team's winning form as quickly as possible.

"Today's practice was real sharp," said Ruff. "Trying to practice with less than three lines that can go full bore makes it tough on your team."

Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik, Toni Lydman and Teppo Numminen are yet to return from Turino, Italy.

The team is hopeful that Afinogenov and Kotalik will arrive on Tuesday, while Numminen and Lydman, members of the Finnish nation team that won the Silver Medal on Sunday, may not be back in uniform until Wednesday.

"I don't know what to expect quite frankly," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff when asked about the two Finnish defensemen. "They had a great Olympics but obviously some disappointment with not winning the Gold. We'll get them back and try to get them going."

Despite being away from the Sabres for two weeks, Ruff says the decision concerning two of the team's strongest defensemen should be an easy one.

"We don't have a lot of options otherwise," said Ruff. "There's no hesitation in playing them."

The Olympic Tournament can be mentally and physically draining for any player, but especially so for the medalists. Teams vying for the Olympic hardware have to play eight games over 11 days.

"It was a crazy schedule," said Sabres co-captain Chris Drury, who was a member of Team USA. "For the guys that went the medal rounds, it was even crazier."

Buffalo's lineup did receive some good news on Monday. Jochen Hecht was cleared for full practice for the first time since suffering an MCL Sprain in Buffalo's 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal on February 9 and could play on Wednesday.

Neither Tim Connolly nor Dmitri Kalinin was cleared for full practice on Monday. Both are still experiencing mild soreness in their injured limbs.

Connolly, who has missed eight games due to a sprained knee suffered against the New York Rangers on January 24, is expected to visit the team's doctor on Wednesday to be reevaluated.

Kalinin is listed as day-to-day with a partially separated shoulder.

SCHEDULE

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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