The Sabres Report - March 23, 2017

Buffalo's blue-line injuries create opportunities for young defensemen   

Buffalo News:

‘The blue line has suffered injuries all season. Josh Gorges missed 12 games with a hip injury. Jake McCabe missed five with a shoulder injury. Zach Bogosian missed 20 games with an MCL sprain then another six with a rib injury. Dmitry Kulikov has been dealing with a back injury all season and remains out of the lineup along with newly sidelined Cody Franson (undisclosed), Justin Falk (calf) and Taylor Fedun (foot).’

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen to have hearing with NHL Player Safety for hit   

Olean Times Herald:

‘Ristolainen, the Sabres’ top defenseman, plays about 27 minutes a night. With four injured defensemen, the Sabres’ depth has been tested recently. Losing Ristolainen for even a game or two could force them to recall another neophyte with no NHL experience.’

NHL to hold hearing on Sabres' Ristolainen's hit on Guentzel   

AP:

‘The league’s Department of Player Safety will hold a hearing with Buffalo’s top defenseman on Thursday.’

Ristolainen to have hearing with NHL Player Safety   

WGR-AM:

‘Ristolainen, 22, has never been fined or suspended in his four-year NHL career with the Sabres. Ristolainen leads the team with points for a defenseman (44), and is also fifth in the league in average ice-time per game at 26:42 per game. Ristolainen has yet to miss a game this season for the Sabres, and has played in 161 consecutive games since the 2014-15 season.’

NHL Player Safety will review Ristolainen hit   

WKBW-TV:

‘Ristolainen wasn’t in the locker room after Tuesday’s game so we didn’t get a chance to ask him about the play. From where I was watching it looked like Ristolainen was lining up to hit Guentzel once he got the puck. Instead, as you can see in the above angle, the pass gets deflected by Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons’ stick and Ristolainen has already committed to the play.’

Sabres assign 3 players to Rochester   

Sabres.com:

‘The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned forward Justin Bailey and defensemen Brady Austin and Casey Nelson to the Rochester Americans (AHL).’

The Sabres Report - March 22, 2017

Ristolainen watches Sabres' loss, could sit more   

Buffalo News:

‘“The puck was on its way to the player, and Risto was committed to stepping up and taking the body,” Gorges said. “The puck stopped and didn’t continue to go. I don’t know if Risto saw that. I think he thought on 99 percent of the plays that puck continues forward onto the guy’s tape and it’s a good hit.’

Mike Harrington: Crosby makes major entry to highlight reel   

Buffalo News:

‘A one-handed backhand to the top corner? Flying down the middle of the ice at full speed? Who does that?’

Sabres Notebook: Ruhwedel finds fit in Pittsburgh   

Buffalo News:

‘“You’ve got to find the right fit. You’ve got to look at depth charts, all the players in the organization, see where you stack up. It’s an interesting game you play. Once Pittsburgh did come around and reach out to us, it wasn’t too difficult of a decision to choose them. Like I said, they have a very good history with a lot of talented players on this team.”’

Quick hits: Penguins 3, Sabres 1   

Buffalo News:

‘Buffalo failed to connect on its only power-play chance in KeyBank Center. The Sabres lost for the first time in three games, while Pittsburgh moved to 8-1-1 in the last 10.’

Rasmus Ristolainen ejected in Sabres’ loss to Penguins   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“I don’t like the fact he got ejected,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “It’s an unfortunate play. He’s stepping up … and the puck that is coming to Guentzel is stopped by Zemgus. Guentzel’s unsuspecting at that point in time. Rasmus is committed to the hit.”’

Sabres’ Brady Austin impressive in first NHL action   

Olean Times Herald:

‘“He’s not a highly heralded guy,” Bylsma said. “He doesn’t have highly heralded skill. He doesn’t have the flash of (top prospect) Brendan Guhle or that type of pedigree. He’s a big-bodied guy. He’s got to play a physical style. That’s what he’s got to be for him to have an opportunity in this league.”’

Former Sabre Chad Ruhwedel fitting in with Penguins   

Olean Times Herald:

‘Ruhwedel, who barely got a sniff from the Sabres, has become an NHL regular. After starting the season with Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, injuries created an opportunity.’

Two Pittsburgh goals late in third sink Sabres, 3-1   

Batavia Daily News:

‘The tie held until the final five minutes of the game, as Bonino fired a shot from the top of the circle to Lehner’s left which found the back of the net through traffic for the game-winning goal and then Zemgus Girgensons notched an own goal.’

Wednesday's Pittsburgh Coverage   

SabreSpace.com:

Crosby’s dazzling goal highlights playoff-clinching Penguins victory (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Errant stick chips Sidney Crosby’s tooth in Buffalo (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Penguins edge Sabres, keep heat on for Metro lead (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Penguins notebook: Defenseman Corrado makes debut (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Snap Shots: Pens 3, Sabres 1 (PittsburghPenguins.com)
Photo gallery (NHL.com)
Photo gallery (Buffalo News)