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.
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. Tyson Strachan and Mike Weber both missed the session inside the First Niagara Center. Both, however, are strong possibilities for Tuesday’s tilt against Los Angeles, Nolan said.
Strachan missed Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Florida. He skated on his own this morning. Weber needs to be examined.
Meanwhile, defenseman Andrej Meszaros (possible concussion) practiced in a non-contact role today. He has no timetable for a return.
Nolan said goalie Jhonas Enroth will likely start against the Kings, his seventh nod in the last eight games.
The Sabres spent much of today’s session working on their NHL-worst power play, which has only converted 6.6 percent of its opportunities.
“Sometimes we try the saucer pass side-to-side instead versus just going up the wall to the point, try to get some traffic in front of the net,” Nolan said. “Simplicity is the best way to do it. We’re trying to get those things going.”
Winger Drew Stafford moved to a point. Winger Marcus Foligno was put up front.
“I’ve done it on and off over my career,” Stafford said. “We’re trying new things. We’re trying new options and see if that can click.”