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Lieuwen

Nathan Lieuwen was with the Sabres briefly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The Sabres sent goalie Nathan Lieuwen back to Rochester today.

That could mean goalie Michal Neuvirth, out since suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday, is healthy.

With Lieuwen backing up, Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth made 43 saves in Saturday’s 2-1 win in Washington.

Lieuwen has struggled badly with the AHL Americans this season, going 3-4 with a 3.53 goals against average and .876 save percentage.

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Nathan Lieuwen has struggled this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Closures from Winter Storm Knife have been blocking the quickest route from Rochester to Buffalo, the New York State Thruway.

So upon getting summoned to the NHL on Wednesday, Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen had to find a different path here.

“I kind of got some advice,” Lieuwen said Thursday inside the First Niagara Center.

Armed with a map, the 23-year-old took Route 104, a roadway close to Lake Ontario.

Lieuwen said his trip took about two hours and 45 minutes.

“Tried to get …

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Patrick Kaleta is stuck at home. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres practiced minus one player today, winger Patrick Kaleta, who’s stuck in his Hamburg home with Winter Storm Knife still decimating the area.

Update: Friday’s game against the New York Rangers has been postponed.

“Hockey seems like a very small thing when the city’s going through something that we’re going through right now,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “We’re just hoping that not only Kaleta, but everybody gets out of …

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Nathan Lieuwen played seven NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With goalie Michal Neuvirth sidelined by a lower-body injury, the Sabres recalled Nathan Lieuwen from Rochester this afternoon.

Lieuwen has struggled badly with the AHL Americans this season, going 3-4 with a 3.53 goals against average and .876 save percentage.

The 23-year-old has performed terribly – 0-3, 4.91 and .838 – in his last six games. He has been yanked from three of his last five starts.

Lieuwen developed into a strong NHL prospect last season – 17-11-2, 2.34 and .922 …

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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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Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

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Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey League last year, compiling a gaudy .931 save percentage …

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Sean Malone (gold) has played well since the Sabres drafted him. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As a sixth-round pick, center Sean Malone faces some long odds to crack the NHL someday. But the West Seneca native has been developing rapidly since the Sabres selected him 159th overall in 2013.

The 19-year-old earned Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year honors last season. He’ll be participating in Team USA’s world junior camp next month in Lake Placid.

In the Dan Hickling photo above, Malone nearly scores on goalie Nathan Lieuwen in close during Friday’s three-on-three development camp …

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