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ANDREYCHUK ON SHELF WITH SWELLING IN KNEE

The Buffalo Sabres will be without Dave Andreychuk for at least five days because of swelling in his right knee.

The veteran winger was hurt during the second period of Thursday's victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. An MRI taken Friday revealed there was no serious damage, but the swelling kept him out of Saturday night's game against the New Jersey Devils in HSBC Arena. He is expected to miss Monday night's home game against the Ottawa Senators.

"He's got some soreness under the knee cap," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don't know the exact situation (as to how it occurred), but it seemed it didn't feel real bad, and he came back and tried to play with it. But there was swelling the next morning."

Andreychuk has been playing well recently. After being a healthy scratch on Jan. 26, he registered four goals and three assists in his next eight games. He scored a goal in each of the two games prior to his injury.

Ruff said the Sabres won't call anyone up from Rochester to fill the void, noting J.P. Dumont's imminent return from a pulled rib muscle and the presence of recent healthy scratches Chris Taylor and Vladimir Tsyplakov, both of whom played Saturday.

"We've got enough bodies here to play," Ruff said.

The Devils' lineup needs some Bondo and a couple coats of primer.

Old friend Alexander Mogilny did not make the trip and was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 8 with a pulled stomach muscle. Mogilny leads the Devils with 31 goals and had scored 24 goals in his past 27 games.

"I think he's played like he did years ago when he scored the 76 goals (with Buffalo in 1992-93)," Ruff said. "He was skating as well and competing as hard as I've ever seen him play."

Also out Saturday were centers Jason Arnott (back) and Bobby Holik (knee) and defenseman Scott Niedermayer (knee).

Arnott centers the Devils' most potent line between Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. But Sykora, the third-leading scorer on the team with 48 points, left in the the first period with a bruised shoulder.

"It was a totally different look from watching New Jersey two weeks ago," Ruff said. "They don't have that luxury now of just rolling four lines and looking for offense from every line."

Winger Scott Gomez played despite being hit in the back of the head by a slap shot Friday.

Defenseman Brian Rafalski (shoulder) returned to action Friday after missing three games.

Backup Sabres goaltender Martin Biron classified his one-game conditioning assignment with the Rochester Americans a success.

Biron made 24 saves in the Amerks' 3-2 victory Friday night. Biron was beaten by what he called a "flub shot" early in the game, but looked sharp the rest of the way.

"It went well," said Biron, who returned to Buffalo after his tune-up. ". . . It's fun to play a game."

Biron is 5-5-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average in 13 games for the Sabres. But he has played only twice this month. Tampa Bay scored four goals on him Feb. 1, while Atlanta added five more Tuesday.

"I wanted to have a good 60 minutes of work in a game situation and get in game shape," Biron said. "You can practice as much as you want, but you have to play some games.

"I also wanted to have a good technical game, be in the right spot at the right time, square to the puck, square to the shooter. I wanted to be at the top of my crease because I thought I was giving them more room to shoot than what I usually give."

Despite the positive effects of his quick Rochester trip, Biron added he doesn't want to make a habit out of it.

"It was an important 60 minutes and it was the right timing to do it," Biron said. "Now we're coming into a big stretch towards the end of the season, and it's something we won't anticipate or look forward to."

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