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NOLAN PRATT TO PLAY AGAINST PANTHERS

Friday, 11.02.2007 / 1:27 PM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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NOLAN PRATT TO PLAY AGAINST PANTHERS
Defenseman Nolan Pratt
Nolan Pratt will see his first NHL game action since the 2007 playoffs tonight against the Florida Panthers in HSBC Arena (7:30 p.m., MSG, WGR 550-AM).

The six-foot-three, 207-pound defenseman - or the Sabres coaching staff for that matter - hadn't planned to be activated, but Jaroslav Spacek's re-aggravation of his shoulder injury on Thursday night in Buffalo's 4-3 overtime loss to Boston forced the issue.

RELATED LINKS
Audio:  Nolan Pratt Pre-Game 
Audio: 
Lindy Ruff Pre-Game  
Bio:  Nolan Pratt
News:  Sabres Agree To Terms With Nolan Pratt







"It's the same injury," said head coach Lindy Ruff concerning Spacek.  "He missed a few shifts in the third but we thought he was going to be ok.  Today it was just too tender."

Spacek will be out of the lineup indefinitely after missing five consecutive starts from Oct. 19 to Oct. 27 with the same injury. 

"Hopefully, it's the short term, but we thought it was going to be shorter the last time too," said Ruff.

The Sabres were left with Pratt or inexperienced rookies as the possible solutions to their blueline problem.  The team decided to roll the dice with the 11-year veteran.

Ruff has an idea where Pratt will be utilized, which centers around using his areas of strength, but wasn't specific to full extent of his participation in the contest. 

"We'll play him in some special teams situations, probably some penalty killing and some defensive situations," said Ruff. 

"I'm really excited," said Pratt.  "It's been a really long summer, and a little frustrating at times, but I'm really excited for the opportunity."

Conditioning has been the Sabres' main concern. 

The team had hoped to assign Pratt to the Rochester Americans for a conditioning stint and to get him better acquainted with their style of play.  A defensive defenseman, Pratt has had limited exposure to Buffalo's defensive scheme. 

That plan disappeared Friday with Spacek's injury.

"Three goals, a fight and a couple blocked shots," joked Ruff when asked what his expectations were for Pratt. 

"He's a good defender.  He's smart in his own zone.  He's a good penalty killer.  And he's spent a lot of time defending against the best players in the league."

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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