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Ennis' absence leaves big hole in Sabres' forward lines

DENVER -- The Sabres' roster has been outmatched on a nightly basis this season. It's reached a new level with Tyler Ennis out.

The Buffalo forward walked through Pepsi Center with his left shoulder wrapped, and as expected he'll miss Saturday night's game against Colorado.

"There’s been a number of guys missing this year, but when you miss a guy like him, that one definitely hurts," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said after the morning skate. "No disrespect to the rest, but he’s by far our most dynamic player, probably our MVP this year. It’s certainly tough without him."

Ennis leads the Sabres with 19 goals and 42 points. In his absence, the lineup looks like this:

Matt Moulson-Johan Larsson-Brian Gionta

Marcus Foligno-Mikhail Grigorenko-Zac Dalpe

Nicolas Deslauriers-Phil Varone-Cody Hodgson

Matt Ellis-Tim Schaller-Patrick Kaleta

Nikita Zadorov will be the healthy scratch on defense. Anders Lindback will start in goal.

The Avalanche will counter with No. 1 netminder Semyon Varlamov (25-18-8, .920 save percentage, 2.57 goals-against average). Colorado is 12-6-1 in its last 19 games. They are 10 points out of a playoff spot.

"To give ourselves a chance, we have to win all our games," said Avs forward John Mitchell, who said his team won't take the Sabres lightly. "They have pride over there and still want to go out and win games."

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