Saturday, December 20, 2014

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Ennis, Leino Likely for Saturday; Sulzer Out for Season

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BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Sabres returned to the ice Thursday and will host Ottawa Saturday afternoon. Ville Leino is likely to make his season debut in that one.

Tyler Ennis returned to practice Thursday in limited action. He said he felt good, though he was still a little stiff and sore. Interim head coach Ron Rolston said Ennis is a strong possibility to return to the lineup Saturday versus Ottawa.

Ennis missed Tuesday's game following the hit he took from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, and felt it was a dirty play.

"I feel like he was on my numbers the whole time. I feel like he kind of launched into me and I thought it was dirty," Ennis said. "If I get hit and I turn and it's my fault, I'll accept that. But that particular time I felt it was not the best play by him, and I wish he got suspended or fined or something. I wasn't happy with it and I'm not happy that he didn't."

The team took Wednesday off - it's a rare three day break in-between games this week during the condensed lockout schedule. More practice time means more opportunities to work on special teams, specifically a power play unit that ranks last in the NHL, and has allowed a league-high five shorthanded goals against this season.

"If we go 0-for-6 in a game but keep the momentum and get some chances on it, and the next line out feels good about it and we can roll from there, I'm fine with that," Rolston said. "When your team loses the momentum then that obviously affects the rest of, not only your team, but also of the players who are on the power play."

"To have these (practices) for consecutive days and two, three days in a row, it's going to be nice because we've had maybe one day of practice, then there's an optional skate," said captain Jason Pominville. "The schedule hasn't been too easy for us so far."

Defenseman Alexander Sulzer will miss the rest of the season after undergoing ACL knee surgery. He tallied three goals and one assist in 17 games with the Sabres. Sulzer was out since suffering the injury on February 23. Ryan Miller practiced Thursday and is doing well, after missing last game with a sinus infection. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP