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Three Sabres defensemen were on the limp Wednesday night after suffering injuries in a 5-4 exhibition loss to Soviet Khimik.

Doug Bodger was lifted early after experiencing soreness in his back. Jay Wells left the game with a sore knee and Uwe Krupp was hobbling around after taking a shot in the skate.

The Sabres issued no statement on the extent of the injuries pending further examination.
Coach Rick Dudley saw three bright spots Wednesday night.

One was the play of rookie defenseman Greg Brown.

"I liked the play of Brownie the last two nights," Dudley said.

Another was the courage of defenseman Brad Miller, who was playing with a five-day-old hand cut that had required 15 stitches.

"Miller played well tonight for a guy playing with one hand," Dudley said.

Dudley was also encouraged by the return of goaltender Daren Puppa. Sidelined with a back strain since Nov. 16, Puppa stopped 16 of 18 shots while playing the first two periods.

Puppa also staked the Sabres to a 3-1 victory in the shoot-out portion of Wednesday's exhibition. Each team chose five players to take one penalty shot on the opposing goaltender. Dale Hawerchuk, Pierre Turgeon and Jiri Sejba scored for the Sabres, while Alexander Mogilny and Dave Andreychuk were thwarted.

The Aud crowd of 13,771 was solidly behind Mogilny throughout the game. It was Mogilny's first appearance against a Soviet team since defecting from the country. He was scratched from last year's Super Series meeting at the insistence of the Soviet Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL.
The Sabres gave goalie Clint Malarchuk the night off, along with defenseman Dean Kennedy and forwards Dave Snuggerud and Mike Foligno.

John Tucker was put in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 14.
The Sabres are now 5-2 against the Soviets. Buffalo dropped a 7-4 decision to Dynamo Moscow in 1985-86.
A wrist injury prevented the call-up of defenseman Kevin Haller from Rochester for Wednesday's game. Haller was scratched from Rochester's game against Capital District.

There seem to be few roster moves the Sabres can make involving players on their minor league rosters. However, Brad May, the team's No. 1 pick last June, is off to a sizzling start with the Niagara Falls Thunder of the Ontario Hockey League. Scouting reports say May is a relentless grinder who simply loves to play. He unsuccessfully tried to coax the Thunder into letting him return from a knee surgery earlier than scheduled.

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