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Pysyk

Rasmus Ristolainen has missed two games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – While the top line remained intact, Sabres coach Ted Nolan rearranged his other three trios today, an attempt to jumpstart the struggling team.

The new lines, left to right: Brian Flynn beside Mikhail Grigorenko and Chris Stewart; Cody Hodgson with Cody McCormick and Drew Stafford; Nick Deslauriers beside Johan Larsson and Patrick Kaleta.

Injuries and illness have ravaged the Sabres recently. They haven’t had a second line with Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta sidelined.

“If you looked at our last seven …

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Mark Pysk started the season in Rochester. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – This time, Mark Pysyk could stay in the NHL for good.

Of course, some thought the Sabres defenseman had secured regular duty last season. The steady 22-year-old was often the only bright spot on a dreadful team, skating 20 minutes some nights.

But 42 games into Pysyk’s season, the Sabres sent the prospect back to Rochester. Pysyk possessed the mental skills for the NHL then, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said, but he needed to mature physically. The Sabres wanted Pysyk …

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Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth is 5-0 in shootouts this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As John Tavares stickhandled toward the net, making move after move, Jhonas Enroth barely budged in his crease. When the slick New York Islanders superstar finally shot the puck, the composed goalie stuck his right pad out, securing the Sabres’ 4-3 come-from-behind shootout win Saturday.

“You look at Jhonas and how he handled it, he wasn’t even bothered by it,” Sabres defenseman Mike Weber said Sunday inside the First Niagara Center. “A lot of goalies would’ve been moving side …

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Mark Pysyk played two games last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Some quick updates from the First Niagara Center, where the Sabres just practiced 40 minutes before their flight to Ottawa for Monday’s tilt against the Senators.

The Sabres skated without defensemen Andrej Meszaros (maintenance day) and Rasmus Ristolainen (flu). They have reinforcements for the blue line, however. Fresh off of a two-game recall last week, Mark Pysyk has been summoned again from Rochester.

“I’m very comfortable with him,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “I think he’s a very intelligent player. …

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Nick Deslauriers started Saturday's rally. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Give ‘em a nickname. The “Cardiac Sabres” sounds appropriate. Or perhaps the “Comeback Kids” is a little better? These days, no lead is safe inside the First Niagara Center, the site of a several stirring, late-game comebacks by the Sabres in recent weeks.

The Sabres roared back again Saturday, scoring three goals on four shots during a wild five minutes to erase a 3-0 deficit against the upstart New York Islanders.

“It just goes to show you the type of …

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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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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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Mark Pysyk has spent this season in the AHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – With injuries and illnesses ravaging the Sabres, the team has recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk and center Tim Schaller from Rochester for tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.

Defenseman Tyler Myers is questionable after suffering a lower-body injury in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Colorado. Meanwhile, wingers Patrick Kaleta and Matt Moulson are both sick. Kaleta will definitely miss tonight’s game, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

Pysyk has one goal and 10 points in 27 games with the Americans this season. The …

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Zemgus Girgensons (28) battles Colorado's Erik Johnson on Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the Sabres’ second consecutive ugly defeat, also ended their six-game home winning streak. After winning 10 of 13 contests to creep within four points of a playoff spot early last week, the Sabres have been outscored 10-2 in the last two games.

Uh-oh.

To make matters worse, injuries and illnesses are starting to ravage the Sabres. They lost three more players Saturday, including minute-munching defenseman Tyler Myers, arguably their most valuable skater.

Myers left …

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