Buffalo Sabres coach Rick Dudley gave no explanations as to why Benoit Hogue was out of the lineup, but he said he dressed seven defensemen because he was worried he could lose two of them.
"Jay Wells was sick (during the morning skate) and Doug Bodger had been hurting," Dudley said. "We didn't want to be in a situation where if we lost both of them we would be down to four defensemen."
In addition to Hogue, defenseman Greg Brown and forwards Jiri Sejba and Alexander Mogilny were scratched Thursday. Mogilny is still recovering from what was supposed to be a "slight" concussion.
Dudley said it was "easy" to dress Dean Kennedy. He also said Hogue was just "out."
Hogue said he had no idea why he was out. He had been relegated to fourth-line duty in the 4-3 victory Tuesday at Hartford.
"I didn't ask why," Hogue said. "I assume it's for the team good. If they want to take me out they do it. Lots of guys have sat out and maybe it was my turn."
Hogue said he wasn't told that. "If he (Dudley) wants to tell me, fine, but I didn't ask. That's his decision. He's the coach, I'm just the player."
Hogue's last goal was Nov. 23 vs. Edmonton and he had just one goal in his last 17 games.
Against Hartford he played with John Tucker and Mike Hartman. Kennedy occasionally played that spot vs. the Bruins.
The B's moved to 19-11-5 on the season and sent the Sabres closer to last place at 11-16-7 than to first in the Adams Division.
Surging Quebec, which has not lost in three meetings this season with the Sabres, is just six points behind Buffalo and will be in the Aud for a game Sunday. Not bad for a team which had a 14-game losing streak this season.
Buffalo is 17 points behind its pace of a season ago. The Bruins are four ahead of last year's pace.
Not only is Pierre Turgeon playing poorly on offense, but he's hurting the team on defense. Turgeon, who scored his first goal in more than a month last Sunday vs. St. Louis, was on the ice for two of Boston's three even-strength goals. . . . The Sabres went 0-for-4 on the power play . . . Dave Andreychuk's five-game point string was stopped . . . Kennedy came to the game as Buffa lo's only plus player (plus-5), but Turgeon, Mikko Makela and Tucker were at least even.
Former Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Sator ran the Bruins on the bench Thursday. Sator, an assistant to head coach Mike Milbury, is splitting bench duties with assistant Gord Clark during Milbury's five-game absence.
Milbury was suspended along with Lyndon Byers (10 games) after Byers left the bench during an altercation in a game vs. Hartford. Clark did the first two games (1-1) and Sator was to do Buffalo and Minnesota Saturday. The two said they would flip a coin to see who gets the fifth one.
The Sabres officially reassigned Brad Miller to Rochester, reducing their roster to 24. Buffalo now has eight defensemen.