BUFFALO – How relieved is Sabres coach Ted Nolan to have defenseman Tyler Myers back for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens?
“Very, very,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “Sometimes you don’t know what you got until it’s taken away from you a little bit. He’s a big part of our team.”
With Myers (lower body) out for Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Winnipeg, his replacement, Andre Benoit, gave away the puck during a second-period power play, creating the Jets’ winning goal.
Benoit will sit tonight.
“It was pretty much just bad timing,” Myers said about his injury. “I gave it a go. I was just at a position where I needed an extra day and feeling good.”
The Sabres will use the same forward lineup, meaning winger Patrick Kaleta will play center, a position he hadn’t played since his childhood, for the second straight game.
Why not just recall a center?
“With Kaleta, the way he played the other night, I’m not too sure we could do much better,” Nolan said. “It’s a little bit unorthodox, but we’ll do what we have to do here.”
Adam Lowry rammed Kaleta face-first into the boards Wednesday. The NHL suspended Lowry one game Thursday.
“I thought it was a vicious one from behind,” Nolan said. “It wasn’t one of those ones where you kind of clip the guy. This is right from behind.”
In other news, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges (knee) will miss his fifth game tonight. Check back soon for a blog on Gorges’ anxiousness.
Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth will start tonight. Carey Price will go for Montreal.
Update: The Sabres have signed forward Jean Dupuy to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced today. Dupuy was an undrafted free agent.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound 20-year-old has five goals and 19 points in 19 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds this season.
Dupuy has 22 goals, 52 points and 177 penalty minutes in 159 career OHL games.