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Armia

Phil Varone only played sparingly Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – In a deep rebuild, with losses and injuries piling up, plenty of jobs on the Sabres are still available.

Heck, the Sabres have had openings throughout the lineup for two years. Sooner or later, someone – a top prospect, an unknown youngster, a waiver acquisition or a depth veteran – has to step up and grab one, right?

Sabres coach Ted Nolan wants the newcomers do something different, stand out and make a case to stay. So far, no one …

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Jaroslav Halak spent five days with the Sabres last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Since creeping to within four points of the final playoff spot Dec. 15, the Sabres have lost four straight games, earning just a single point for Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Boston.

Are the Sabres swooning again? Opponents have scored a whopping 20 goals during their skid.

Or is this just a normal part of a young club’s growth? A team battered by injuries and illness had the lead in two straight road games earlier this week before imploding late.

The …

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Joel Armia (33) made his NHL debut Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent forwards Joel Armia, Mikhail Grigorenko and Tim Schaller and defenseman Mark Pysyk back to the Rochester Americans today.

All four played in Tuesday’s 6-3 loss in Detroit. The Sabres are off until Saturday, when they host the New York Islanders.

By then, some of the eight Sabres who are injured or sick could be ready to play. Defenseman Mike Weber (knee) will likely return from a short absence, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

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Joel Armia will likely make his NHL debut tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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With injuries ravaging the Buffalo Sabres, the team recalled slick winger Joel Armia from the Rochester Americans today. The 21-year-old prospect will likely make his NHL debut tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Finn, the 16th pick in 2011, has seven goals and 16 points in 21 AHL games this season. The Sabres wanted to recall Armia over the weekend but he had just returned from an upper-body injury. They didn’t want him to play three games in three nights.

The …

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Marcus Foligno (82) skates away from Calgary's Raphael Diaz on Dec. 11. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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The Buffalo Sabres are down 10 players to injuries and illness after losing center Marcus Foligno and captain Brian Gionta in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss in Boston.

Foligno apparently hurt his hand fighting the Bruins’ Matt Bartkowski after the defenseman leveled Gionta high during the first period. An upper-body injury will sideline Foligno for “a while,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters in Boston.

“One of those freak accidents that happen when you play,” Nolan said. “You’re throwing punches at helmets, so …

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Mikhail Grigorenko has four goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needed some time to adjust. Getting demoted to the AHL wasn’t easy. The 20-year-center impressed during the NHL training camp, igniting speculation he could earn a roster spot.

But the rebuilding Sabres wanted the slick Russian to develop in Rochester, where he could receive loads of ice time, so they assigned him to the Americans on Oct. 6.

“It was probably tough a few days,” Grigorenko said Wednesday about acclimating to the AHL again. “It’s a …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Matt Ellis captained Rochester last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Veteran forward Matt Ellis was among seven players the Sabres sent to Rochester this afternoon.

The Sabres also assigned: forwards Joel Armia and Tim Schaller; defensemen Drew Bagnall and Nick Petricki; goalies Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov.

Ellis and Bagnall must clear waivers to reach the AHL Americans. Ellis captained Rochester in 2012-13 and last season before earning a 50-game recall.

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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Sam Reinhart has played all three preseason games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After playing three games in a five-day stretch to open the preseason, top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart will likely sit out Sunday’s exhibition tilt in Toronto, coach Ted Nolan said.

Reinhart agreed with Nolan’s assessment he enjoyed his best outing in Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs. The center had zero points and one shot in 16 minutes, 46 seconds of ice time, mostly between Cody Hodgson and Brian Gionta.

“I think that was probably the toughest matchup for …

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