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Rasmus Asplund injured, Lawrence Pilut debuts for Amerks

ROCHESTER -- Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund suffered an upper body injury on a blocked shot in the opening minutes of Friday night for the Rochester Americans.

Asplund, 21, was killing a penalty and crouched down when the puck hit him about 2:15 into the game. He quickly skated off and did not return.

Interim Americans coach Gord Dineen said Asplund had X-rays, but he did not know the results.

“We’ll just have to evaluate and see how is tomorrow,” Dineen said after the Amerks fell to the Cleveland Monsters, 4-3 in a shootout in Blue Cross Arena. “He’s a gamer. He really wants to be out there. He would’ve been compromised probably being out there.”

With Asplund sidelined, Dineen rotated a few centers between Remi Elie and Tage Thompson.

Asplund, one of the Sabres’ top forward prospects, compiled two assists in the first four games this season.

Despite losing Asplund and the game Friday, the Amerks had some good news.

Defenseman Lawrence Pilut made his season debut after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder during the offseason.

The Amerks threw Pilut, 23, right into the fray, playing him in all situations.

“It felt all right,” said Pilut, who injured his shoulder in the playoffs April 24. “I think I’m a little rusty. I feel like I did some good things out there but I still have some things to clean up.

“But that will come the more games I get in. I feel confident out there.”

Pilut, an American Hockey League All-Star as a rookie last season, skated beside Will Borgen at even strength. The Swede also quarterbacked and killed penalties.

“His conditioning was excellent, pace that he played at was very good,” Dineen said. “I think some of the completion of plays that he normally makes wasn’t quite where he would want it and where we know that he’s got the ability to execute.

“Overall, I was real happy with his game.”

Pilut registered three shots on goal, including one through traffic in the second period. He also drew a roughing penalty late in regulation.

“He’s got such elite vision out there,” Dineen said. “It really shows up on the power play. I’d like to see him add a little bit more to our power play.”

Pilut quickly morphed into one of the Sabres’ top defense prospects last season, playing 33 NHL games.

Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund 'putting in the work'

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