The Sabres are pointing at tonight's home game against Boston as a must-win. They'll have to win without their top player.
Goaltender Ryan Miller, who has a lower-body injury, will miss the game in HSBC Arena. He took only a few shots toward the end of today's morning skate and stretched along the boards as backup Patrick Lalime and minor-league call-up Jhonas Enroth manned the nets.
"He’s not available to play today," said coach Lindy Ruff, who had no timeframe for Miller's return. "Just day-to-day right now."
Ruff would not name a starting goalie for tonight, and Lalime and Enroth ended practice at the same time to not give any clues.
Lalime played in Saturday's 4-0 loss to Dallas. He is 0-2 with a 4.04 goals-against average and .871 save percentage.
"The numbers speak for themselves," Ruff said. "I thought he got off to a good start in the Dallas game. A tipped goal goes in, a screened goal goes in. I think there’s been goals that there’s not a thing you can do about."
Enroth is 4-2 with a 3.51 GAA and .895 save percentage with Portland.
Mike Grier will play his 1,000th game tonight, while Jason Pominville will play his first since suffering a concussion Oct. 11. Audio of his morning chat is below. Defensemen Chris Butler and Mike Weber will be scratched as captain Craig Rivet returns after a two-game benching.
The Sabres are 0-4-1 at home this season.
"I see them being focused this morning," Ruff said. "We had a good meeting before we went out there, and I think all you saw today was focus. It was quiet and determined. I think that’s part of getting ready to win a home game."