BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who left Tuesday’s 5-1 win in Washington following a knee-on-knee collision with the Capitals’ Troy Brouwer, is out indefinitely.
Coach Lindy Ruff offered few details about the slick German’s left knee injury Wednesday, only saying the 29-year-old had been evaluated and would miss “some time.” He wouldn’t specify if it could be days or weeks. He said the injury news was better than he expected.
Mike Weber, a healthy scratch the last four games, will likely replace Ehrhoff on Friday when the Sabres host Pittsburgh.
“Mike played well the two previous games before sitting out,” Ruff said inside the First Niagara Center.
Ehrhoff’s loss is huge, though. While he hasn’t quite met expectations in the first season of a 10-year, $40 million contract, he still leads all Sabres in ice time (23:03 a game) and the blue line with 32 points.
“Christian has been logging a lot of minutes and playing well for us,” Ruff said. “But every team has to deal with it. We have to deal with it. We have to face a little bit of adversity. We need players to step up.”
In other injury news, defenseman Andrej Sekera, who took a shot near his leg Wednesday, sat practice as a maintenance day.
Center Derek Roy (possible flu) also missed the session.
Naturally, Sabres winger Cody McCormick felt good after scoring his first goal this season and first in 67 regular-season games dating back to Feb. 25, 2011.
That it opened the scoring in Tuesday’s huge win, which vaulted the Sabres past the Capitals into eighth place, made his 18th NHL tally even sweeter.
“The goal felt great,” McCormick said.
For Ruff, it was special seeing the Sabres’ top fighter finally get rewarded.
“You’re always happy,” Ruff said. “Cody’s there for his teammates night in, night out. He’s had a tough year. (He had) a great year last year. To see them score always puts a big smile on your face.”
McCormick, who scored eight times during a strong and surprising 2010-11 campaign, has struggled much of the season, battling injuries throughout.
While he wasn’t fretting about scoring, he definitely wanted one.
“There’s times after … 50 games you’re saying, ‘Enough’s enough. I want to score that goal,’” McCormick said. “You say that and you just got to go out and execute it, I guess. You don’t sit there and mope about it.”
Ruff on captain Jason Pominville’s highlight-reel goal in which he undressed Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin short-handed after the superstar mishandled the puck at the point:
“The risk of playing a forward back there on the power play is exactly what happened. He got his feet tangled up a little bit, tried to play with his stick, it hopped over, and I thought Pommer did a great job of outdueling him.”
Ruff added: “It was just a big goal. I don’t look at it as captain-on-captain.”
The Sabres have signed University of Maine forward Brian Flynn to an entry-level contract, according to mainehockeyjournal.com.
It’s expected the 23-year-old will report to Rochester.
Flynn tallied 18 goals and 48 points in 40 games this season. He had 69 goals and 156 points in 153 NCAA games.