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Ruff on goalies: 'I'd like to see Ryan carry the ball'

When the Sabres hit the ice tonight against Atlanta in HSBC Arena, it will mark the end of their three-day breaks for the regular season. No more than two days off the rest of the way for the final 12 games. Tonight, in fact, starts the first of five remaining sets of back-to-back games. That's 10 of the last 12. Yikes.

So with a back-to-back tonight and tomorrow here against Nashville, followed by Tuesday's game in Montreal, are we looking at another Jhonas Enroth start? Not necessarily. When I asked Lindy Ruff about that after today's optional skate in the arena, he seemed to indicate it's no gimme Enroth plays tomorrow.

"It will be based on what the workload looks like for Ryan," Ruff said. "I'd like to see Ryan carry the ball. I think he's capable after having three days off of carrying the ball but that isn't etched in stone. We'll take a look at the workload and where he's at."

The Sabres need every point and Enroth was a little shaky in Sunday's win over Ottawa after having a week off. Maybe Miller plays the next three and Enroth goes in one of next week's back-to-backs here next week against Florida or New Jersey. It bears watching. 

There don't appear to be any lineup changes in the offing for the Sabres or Thrashers tonight. Miller (29-21-7, 2.67, .914) and Ondrej Pavelec (20-19-9, 2.68, 9.16) will be in goal in a matchup of pretty similar numbers other than the W-L records. Chris Butler looks to be the defense scratch for Buffalo.

Some key reminders: The new MSG pregame show starts tonight at 6:30 and Dominik Hasek will be a guest. No. 39, in town with Willie O'Ree for his Hasek's Heroes program, will then be part of a ceremonial pregame faceoff. Bet that brings the house down.

Also, a guest anthem singer just for tonight: Sarah Darling, who works under the Black River Entertainment label started by Terry and Kim Pegula in Nashville.

---Mike Harrington


ex-Sabres | Sabres
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |