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Sabres notebook: Larsson out weeks with wrist injury

BOSTON -- What's another Sabres game without some injuries? There were two more in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins and one looks like it will be major.

Center Johan Larsson suffered what coach Dan Bylsma termed a dislocated left wrist in the first period as he was crushed into the corner boards by Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid. The hit was a clean one as the pair engaged while chasing a loose puck and McQuaid caught Larsson off balance and sent him flying into the boards.

Bylsma had no firm timetable on Larsson other than to say his checking-line center would be out weeks. Larsson, who played 74 games last season, had not missed a game this year. He has six goals and five assists.

With Larsson and fellow center Ryan O'Reilly (appendectomy) both out of the lineup, the Sabres might have to go by position and call up Rochester captain Cal O'Reilly to fill a hole in their middle. Nick Baptiste, who was leading the AHL in goals until last week, could also be a candidate to play on the wing if Buffalo wants to shift Zemgus Girgensons to center.

Defenseman Josh Gorges exited in the first period with a hip pointer and was seen leaving TD Garden with a heavy limp. Bylsma had no update on his status. Taylor Fedun, who gave the Sabres some good minutes on 5-on-5 and the power play during his first NHL stint this year, could be a candidate to replace Gorges.

The Sabres have suffered 175 man games lost to injury this season, fourth in the NHL. They played Saturday without O'Reilly, Tyler Ennis (who missed his 24th game after double hernia surgery), Dmitry Kulikov (back) and William Carrier, who was sidelined after injuring his hand Thursday night.


Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner fell to 8-12-5 with the loss and is 3-3-1 in his last seven decisions after winning just one of his previous 10. With no back-to-backs on the Buffalo schedule until Jan. 12-13, Lehner may get the bulk of the action in the next couple of weeks.

"Sometimes you see a 60/40 split and sometimes it's a little greater than that," Bylsma said. "With this schedule, you're probably see something a little greater than that for Robin."

Lehner went 3-5-2 in December with a 2.69 goals-against avearage and .921 save percent. His numbers were eerily similar in November: 3-5-2/2.30/.924. For the season, he has a 2.51 GAA and .921 save percentage.


The Sabres finished December 5-6-3 -- the same record they posted in November. They were 3-3-2 in October. Buffalo is just 4-7-3 against the Atlantic Division and 7-12-7 against the Eastern Conference. The Sabres are 6-3-1 against the West.


The Bruins were not happy that linesmen tried to break up Carrier's fight with McQuaid on Thursday, which resulted in Carrier getting in some free shots while McQuaid's arms were tied up. The men in stripes were quick to step in at times again Saturday, notable when Evander Kane was chasing around Kevan Miller during one second-period confrontation.

That stemmed from a Kane hit on Miller as the final horn was sounding Thursday night in KeyBank Center. The Boston crowd booed as the players were broken up and Kane was given an extra 10-minute misconduct, clearly for his efforts to break free from an official.

Cracked Miller: "I think he was excited to fight when the referees came in and not before."


There was an emotional scene prior to the game as former Boston Pride player Denna Laing received a standing ovation from the crowd as she wheeled to center ice for a ceremonial faceoff between captains Brian Gionta of the Sabres and Zdeno Chara of Boston.

Laing was paralayzed from a spinal injury suffered during an exhibition game featuring her National Women's Hockey League team on Jan. 1 in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on the weekend of the Winter Classic between the Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. She is continuing to rehab from her injuries.


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