WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Buffalo Sabres will be without veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder for at least the next week and maybe a little longer after he was injured Sunday against Washington.
Tallinder suffered what interim coach Ted Nolan said was an “upper middle” body injury, likely from a hit by Washington’s Aaron Volpatti midway through the first period Sunday.
It was a tough hit as Tallinder went into the rounded part of the glass by the Caps’ bench, and Nolan’s description certainly raised the prospect of an issue with Tallinder’s ribs.
“Somebody goes down, everybody has to give a little bit more,” Nolan said prior to Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. “Especially with Tallinder. He’s been playing really good for us. We’re gonna miss him but we’ve got to play.”
Alexander Sulzer returned to the lineup to replace Tallinder and paired with Jamie McBain. Mike Weber filled in Tallinder’s spot alongside Tyler Myers while Christian Ehrhoff and Mark Pysyk remained together.
Tallinder has two goals and four assists in 34 games while posting a minus-12 rating and averaging 19:20 a game.
How cold has it been in Winnipeg? United Airlines canceled most of its flights here Monday amid reports of freezing in the bathrooms on planes coming from Denver and Chicago.
Wind chills here Monday night reached into the range of minus-50 Celsius and a CBC story said the air temperature of minus-29 was equivalent to the surface of Mars.
Tweeted Sabres captain Steve Ott: “-30 in Winnipeg, I don’t know how I skated outdoor as a kid here. Getting Soft.”
The Sabres’ third line of Matt Ellis between John Scott and Matt D’Agostini has found itself on the ice in some strange situations the last couple of games, particularly when they’ve been facing stars like Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin.
Scott played 8:50 in the overtime win over Phoenix, was on the ice for 12:39 – his most as a Sabre – in Toronto and 8:43 against Washington. He’s been on the ice in late-game situations and, oddly enough, against top offensive players.
Nolan said he’s not really looking to pull the line when opponents have scorers on the ice.
“I’m not really a head-to-head type of guy,” Nolan said. “As long as everybody plays hard and plays honestly, they’ll get their minutes.”
The loss left the Sabres 0-4 against the Jets in MTS Centre since Winnipeg returned to the NHL in 2011. Buffalo has not won a game in the city since a 6-2 victory at old Winnipeg Arena on Feb. 10, 1993.
In that game, Alexander Mogilny had four goals and current President of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine had a goal and five assists. Defenseman Doug Bodger had the other goal.
Television analyst Rob Ray also fought longtime adversary Tie Domi in that game.
Brian Flynn played with an extended visor over a broken nose, suffered when he took an inadvertent high stick from Drew Stafford on Sunday. … Weber played his 200th NHL game, joining Scott and Kevin Porter as Sabres reaching that milestone this season. Only Weber has played all of his games with Buffalo. … Former Sabre Adam Pardy was a healthy scratch on defense for the Jets.