BUFFALO – So, does Sabres winger Ville Leino know why coach Ron Rolston scratched him for Friday’s 6-2 loss in Anaheim?
“Not really,” Leino, who will return tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, said after skating this morning inside the First Niagara Center.
Can Leino, who has one point and one shot in seven games, guess why he sat?
“There’s no point guessing,” he said. “I don’t know if it really matters at this point.”
What did Rolston tell him about sitting?
“Nothing, really,” Leino said.
Rolston, however, said he had spoken to the Finn earlier about his play.
“He’s a guy that we’d like to have in our top six,” Rolston said. “He’s a guy that we need production out of, to create scoring opportunities for us, whether it’s five-on-five or power play.”
Despite the struggles, Leino will see power play action tonight. The Sabres, still winless at home, need any spark they can get.
Leino said he had started playing better before the scratch.
“(The) last three games we’ve … had some zone time holding onto the pucks,” he said. “I’ve been playing around 10, 11 minutes, not really (on the) power play. You got to try the best you can do in your time, obviously. I could do a little better. I could do a little more. But I have a chance to go at it today.”
In other lineup news, it appears forward Johan Larsson and John Scott will sit tonight. With defenseman Christian Ehrhoff back from a muscle strain, rookie Nikita Zadorov will likely sit for the fourth time in six games.
The Sabres’ Ryan Miller will face Jonathan Quick, a showdown of two goalies primed to make Team USA’s Olympic squad.