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T.J. Brennan will replace Andrej Sekera. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Injured Sekera out, Brennan in for Sabres

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Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera will miss this afternoon’s tilt against the Florida Panthers after bruising his foot Saturday, coach Lindy Ruff said. Rookie T.J. Brennan will replace him.

Sekera blocked Alexei Emelin’s shot shortly into his first shift, went to the dressing room and returned for several shifts before leaving the Sabres’ 6-1 loss in Montreal again after the first period.

Ruff hopes it’s a short-term injury.

“He took a pretty hard shot,” Ruff said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “It depends. It could be day-to-day. It could be a little bit more.”

Meanwhile, defenseman Robyn Regehr (lower body, three games) is progressing.

“Today we felt he was moving in the right direction,” Ruff said. “We think in a few days we’ll have him back on the ice.”

The Sabres began training camp with nine NHL defensemen before waiving Adam Pardy. Now, their depth has been whittled away. They’re down to just six healthy ones.

“It’s tough having eight around,” Ruff said. “But you can see the number of injuries around the league. They’re starting to pile up. We’ve got a couple on the back end now. The next move would be bringing somebody up. So it’s important you have that depth.”

In other injury news, winger Ville Leino (hip) tried to skate again today.

“Not much changed,” Ruff said.

The Sabres pride themselves on playing tight defensively. But they’ve been a mess recently, allowing 14 goals in the past three games.

“We’ve really had some defensemen that struggled,” Ruff said. “That has been evident. I think you’ve got to put those mistakes behind you. In a real tight schedule like this, you can’t dwell on those mistakes. Obviously, those mistakes that were made, we’ll try to clean them up for today. It is one thing we want to take pride in as a team.

“We want to be good offensively. At the same time, we want to be a strong defensive team. … Yesterday’s game is something you want to dump in the trash can.”

Ruff wouldn’t name today’s starting goalie.

Update: Winger Nathan Gerbe will play again today. Matt Ellis is a healthy scratch. Ryan Miller starts in goal.

Related: Sekera’s injury isn’t serious; Sabres’ blue line getting thin

Sabres say no surgery planned for Leino’s injured hip

Amerks’ Brennan making strong case to stick with Sabres if NHL season starts

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