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Season hasn't gone as planned for Sabres' Colaiacovo

MONTREAL -- Carlo Colaiacovo saw an opportunity to play regularly in Buffalo, which is why he signed a one-year deal with the team. It hasn’t worked out like he envisioned.

Colaiacovo will appear in just his 30th game Thursday in Montreal, meaning he was a scratch 39 times.

“Unfortunately, it’s a process that didn’t go the way I expected it to go when I first signed here,” the defenseman said. “But I consider myself very fortunate to be still playing in the NHL and be part of a great group of guys. I’m just really grateful that the opportunity has sorted itself out.”

With Cody Franson injured and Mike Weber traded, Colaiacovo has played in nine straight games. He'll enter Bell Centre with four assists and a minus-8 rating while skating 14:43 per night.

“Playing the games makes you feel like you’re part of the team,” said Colaiacovo, who was closer to the coaching staff than the players while sitting for most of December and January. The 33-year-old would run up and down the arena steps with the assistants after morning skates while his teammates were resting for the games.

“Whether it was fun or not, it’s something as a pro you have to do to keep yourself ready and wait for the opportunity to present itself,” he said. “It’s behind me now. I’m real grateful for the opportunity to get back in there.”

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