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Tallinder will miss some more time

Henrik Tallinder limped down an HSBC Arena hallway Thursday, a look of resignation on his face.

"Here we go again," he said.

The Buffalo Sabres defenseman, who missed two months with a broken forearm, will be out for at least two weeks with a right ankle sprain. He suffered the injury Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators, just his sixth game back after missing 24 in a row.

"I'm not in a happy mood, that's for sure," Tallinder said. "I'm just frustrated right now."

Coach Lindy Ruff placed one of his top defensemen in the "week-to-week" category, but Tallinder was pessimistic about returning in seven days.

"That could happen, but I wouldn't count on it," he said.

The big Swede became entangled with Ottawa's Dany Heatley behind the net late in the second period and twisted the leg fighting for the puck.

"He tried to make sure that I didn't go one way, and I kind of fell and I got my leg underneath me," Tallinder said. "I felt it right away when I fell on it."

Rookie Nathan Paetsch, who played in all 24 games Tallinder missed, will be in the lineup tonight when the Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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The Sabres' power play has gone 1 for 5 in each of the past four games and had a 1-for-10 stretch before that. Any guesses as to what the team worked on during practice Thursday?

The Sabres had an extended video session before taking the ice, then worked solely on special teams. The power-play units scored only once during the 19-minute session.

"We're not working hard enough to recover pucks and battling enough to get pucks," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "That's probably what it comes down to right there."

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Ryan Miller and Martin Biron will split the starting goaltender duties over the next two days, but Ruff wouldn't say whether Biron will start tonight at home or Saturday in Toronto.

"Back-to-back is always tough," Ruff said. "You make it three [games] in four [nights], it makes it a little bit tougher."

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The Sabres will have a commemorative patch on their jerseys tonight to benefit the "Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation." Each jersey will be donated for an online auction at NHL.com and NHLPA.com.

All proceeds will benefit the former country star's foundation, which generates funds for nonprofit children's charities.

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The Sabres' second annual "Aces & Blades" casino night to benefit the team's foundation will be held Feb. 9 in the Hyatt Regency hotel downtown. The four-hour event begins at 7 p.m. and features Sabres players and alumni as card dealers.

Tickets are $100 each and include food and drinks. Visit Sabres.com or call 855-4417.

e-mail: jvogl@buffnews.com

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