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Sean Malone's stock rises for Amerks; Smith, Guhle struggle

With the Alex Nylander analysis complete, here's a look at how other Sabres prospects fared during Rochester's short playoff series:

* Sean Malone – The forward's stock went up in a hurry. The West Seneca native started on the fourth line, but he was double-shifting by the end. Malone was the Amerks' go-to guy on faceoffs, and his win in Game 3 set up Justin Bailey's go-ahead goal.

Malone totaled 12 goals and 12 assists in 76 games during his rookie season. The 22-year-old could grow into a Curtis Brown-type center for the Sabres.

* Bailey – The right winger has always shown short flashes of potential with Buffalo. He was at his best during the final two games, scoring twice. He showed speed during rushes and dived for blocked shots during penalty kills. The 22-year-old needs to do it all the time.

A pending restricted free agent, Bailey left the finale with an injury, which a source says is a separated shoulder.

* Linus Ullmark – The goaltender was heartbroken after an abysmal .800 save percentage and 5.50 goals-against average. There were quite a few tap-ins for Syracuse, but Ullmark didn't make big saves, either. The Crunch scored 3:22 into the series, and the goalie never got comfortable.

While the showing can give some cause for concern, Ullmark's seasonlong body of work showed he's ready to be one of the Sabres' two goaltenders.

* Hudson Fasching – The right winger was scratched in the final two games, a nightmare scenario for a player whose entry-level contract is up. Speed remains a drawback for the 6-foot-2, 207-pounder.

"That's been a recurring theme for me to work on," said Fasching, who had eight goals and four assists in 37 regular-season games.

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* Brendan Guhle – The Sabres' top defense prospect was a team-worst minus-6. Known for his offensive talent, he couldn't break free against the Crunch. He had no points and seven shots.

* C.J. Smith – The left winger was second on the Amerks in goals during the regular season. He had none in the playoffs. Since mid-February, he's missed nearly eight weeks due to injury. It's possible that slowed him.

Smith's first pro season featured 17 goals and 46 points in 60 games. The Sabres desperately need left wingers, and the 23-year-old will get a look.

* Nick Baptiste – The speed shown during NHL games was often missing against the Crunch. The pending RFA had one goal on seven shots while not making much of an impact.

* Danny O'Regan – Acquired as part of the Evander Kane trade, the forward had a goal, assist and minus-4 rating. The 24-year-old blended in with an Amerks team that seemed one step behind Syracuse. O'Regan had six goals and 15 points in 18 regular-season games.

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* Colin Blackwell – Invited to the Sabres' prospect challenge only because Malone suffered an injury, he earned an AHL contract. His speedy, gritty play during the postseason may have earned the 25-year-old a two-way deal with the Sabres.

After leading Amerks forwards with 45 points during the regular season (17 goals, 28 assists), the center had a goal and two assists against the Crunch.

* Zach Redmond – The 29-year-old defenseman hardly qualifies as a prospect. But he was a calm island of support while others were getting blown away by Syracuse's offense. He scored two playoff goals after leading Rochester in points during the regular season (15 goals, 32 assists).

A truth-telling voice of reason after Game 1, the unrestricted free agent would definitely help the Amerks continue to grow and provide depth to Buffalo.

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