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Mikhail Grigorenko has played one NHL game this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Mikhail Grigorenko knew the Sabres were short one forward and had the Colorado Avalanche, a team led by legendary goalie Patrick Roy, his former junior coach, coming up on the schedule.

Grigorenko, who played in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg before getting returned to Rochester, wanted to get recalled again badly.

“I was hoping I would get called up, especially that game against Colorado against Patrick,” Grigorenko said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I saw him … at …

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Mike Weber recently underwent knee surgery. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – That forward recall should happen before the Sabres host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

“I hope so,” coach Ted Nolan joked after the Sabres practiced today in HarborCenter.

The Sabres have been practicing with only 11 forwards. They sent center Mikhail Grigorenko back to Rochester following Tuesday’s 5-1 loss in Winnipeg.

Update: Grigorenko is back up.

The defense corps, meanwhile, should be getting healthier. Mike Weber practiced today, his first session since recently undergoing minor surgery on his left knee.

“He’s a quick …

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Tyler Ennis is the Sabres' leading scorer. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Around this city and the Sabres, speedy Tyler Ennis is a star, the most dynamic offensive threat on a low-scoring team. Around the NHL, however, the winger is still a bit of an unknown.

Ennis’ name mostly pops up national circles when he scores a highlight-reel goal.

That could be starting to change.

One goal and five points during the three straight home wins just earned Ennis the NHL’s first star for the week ending Dec. 14.

Ennis, who has eight goals …

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Josh Gorges left Saturday's game after blocking a shot. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Almost five years ago, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges sold out while killing a penalty with Montreal. Against better judgment, Gorges dropped down to the ice and laid flat in front of a lethal one-timer from Washington’s Mike Green.

The puck hit Gorges in the back of the head, knocking him out cold.

“Scared the hell out of me,” Gorges recalled Saturday prior to the Sabres’ 4-3 overtime win against the Florida Panthers inside the First Niagara Center.

Gorges said he was …

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Mike Weber (6) battles San Jose's Matt Nieto (83) for the puck Nov. 18. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Mike Weber underwent minor surgery on his left knee Friday and will be sidelined until just after Christmas, coach Ted Nolan said.

“It’s nothing major, but it’s kind of like a maintenance cleanup for an area he was battling for about three weeks or so,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “He could probably go the rest of the year with it, but we thought it was best to do it now.”

With Weber out, …

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Cody Hodgson was a healthy scratch Thursday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As the Sabres warmed up before practice this afternoon, coach Ted Nolan and Cody Hodgson skated around the ice together and talked about the season-long slump that forced the struggling center into the press box Thursday.

What was Nolan’s message to Hodgson, who will play again Saturday? The 24-year-old’s trying to work too hard, and that’s forcing him to do things out of his character.

“You don’t need Cody to be banging bodies,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. …

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Cody Hodgson has one goal and three points this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Just under 11 minutes into Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Florida, Cody Hodgson grabbed a loose puck in the corner and beat a Panthers defender along the wall. The Sabres center then cut to the middle and fended off two more Panthers before deftly feeding Drew Stafford, who one-timed the perfect pass in the net from the left circle.

“For him to have that vision to make a play like that, just goes to show you what kind of skill …

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Rasmus Ristolainen put his stick in his face Monday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – As players trickled off the ice Monday following practice, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen suddenly bolted down the hallway holding his nose and went to the trainer’s room.

What happened?

Ristolainen apparently got caught in a rut on the ice, and his stick hit him in the face as he fell backward. The youngster will be OK, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

It’s a good thing, because the Sabres are running low on defensemen. They practiced Monday with only five healthy ones. …

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Tyson Strachan could return Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As players trickled off the ice today following practice, Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen suddenly bolted down the hallway holding his nose and went to the trainer’s room.

What happened?

Ristolainen apparently got caught in a rut on the ice, and his stick hit him in the face as he fell backward. The youngster will be OK, Sabres coach Ted Nolan said.

It’s a good thing, because the Sabres are running low on defensemen. They practiced today with only five healthy ones. …

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Tim Schaller was recalled Tuesday afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tim Schaller had just eaten lunch and gotten comfortable on the couch Tuesday afternoon in Rochester when Americans coach Chadd Cassidy phoned the center.

“Get yourself to Buffalo tonight,” Cassidy told Schaller, who had been sent down following his NHL debut Saturday.

Schaller hopped in his car and arrived at the First Niagara Center around 4 p.m.

The Sabres summoned Schaller for their 2-1 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning because forward Cody McCormick is still undergoing concussion protocol.

After participating …

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