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After extra game out, Kaleta is back

By Mike Harrington

MONTREAL -- The Sabres have hugged it out and Patrick Kaleta is back in the lineup tonight at the Bell Centre.

That was the mood of the dressing room after today's pregame skate. Kaleta, suspended for five games and held out Sunday for another, was greeted by a swarm of Montreal media in the wake of Sunday's kerfluffle in Washington and said he had no issue with what Ryan Miller said after the game.

(The Sabres did not make Miller available to the media today even though Jhonas Enroth is starting; Miller, like many goalies, does not speak prior to games in which he is playing).

"He's like my brother, one of my best friends on the team," Kaleta said of Miller, his former road roommate. "Some things were misunderstood there but we're family. Our season hasn't gone the way we wanted it to go and everyone knows that. Our job is to come together as a team and go out there and battle."

On Monday's off day, the Sabres put Miller in a video interview on their Web site where he apologized for his comments.

"It definitely wasn't an issue in this dressing room," said Steve Ott. "We actually, to be honest with you, have a really tight, close team. That's something that it's tough because there's a lot of negativity in losing. You want to continue to find the 'positivity' in winning when everybody is happy. We hold each other in here strongly accountable. We have a strong group, a strong core and I think that's really keeping the team together."

Interim coach Ron Rolston had no problem with what Kaleta's anger after being scratched.

"We want players like that. If they're not in that mindset, than you probably don't want them on your team," Rolston said. "That was made a lot more outside than it is inside. There's no issue there.

Kaleta said he understand he'll be watched even more closely now in the wake of the hit on Brad Richards.

"I'm trying to be better as a player, go out and play my game, play on that line and not go over that line," he said.

Said Rolston: "He's got to play the way he is. If he doesn't, then we're taking away what he gives to the team. He just has to find the line he can play on and below and not go over the line. But if you take away his game, you take away him as a player. We want that attitude out on the ice."

Here's the audio:

Patrick Kaleta

Steve Ott

Ron Rolston


Patrick Kaleta | Ron Rolston | Ryan Miller | Steve Ott
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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.

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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 |