By John Vogl
Marcus Foligno is still hurt. Johan Larsson, Brian Flynn and Zemgus Girgensons have made the Sabres because of that.
Buffalo coach Ron Rolston held out hope last week that Foligno's injured shoulder would heal in time for the season opener. However, the big winger was unable to practice again today, and Rolston said Foligno won't be ready for Wednesday's game in Detroit.
That leaves the Sabres with 23 healthy players -- the exact number for the NHL's roster limit, which must be reached by 5 this afternoon. Since the Sabres are already there, Rolston said they don't have to and won't make another move. He said everyone who was at practice today will be back in First Niagara Center on Tuesday.
Flynn, Girgensons and Larsson were the most likely candidates to head to Rochester at the roster deadline because they don't require waivers to be sent to the minors. But with injuries up front to Foligno, Corey Tropp (jaw) and Joel Armia (hand), all three will stick around. Rookie Nikita Zadorov (finger) will join the hurt trio on injured reserve, then return to his junior team when healthy.
The Sabres will enter the season with 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. The logjam at forward leaves uncertainty as to who will be the 20 players to dress against the Red Wings.
The Sabres did limited line work today, but the first four units were as follows:
Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Drew Stafford
Steve Ott-Tyler Ennis-Ville Leino
Zemgus Girgensons-Mikhail Grigorenko-Brian Flynn
Kevin Porter-Cody McCormick-Patrick Kaleta.
Larsson and John Scott served as the extras.
The top three defense pairs featured Christian Ehrhoff and Mark Pysyk, Henrik Tallinder and Tyler Myers, and Mike Weber and Rasmus Ristolainen, with Jamie McBain rotating in as the extra.
Defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who was waived Sunday, was not claimed by another team and is expected to report to the Amerks.
The Sabres have yet to select a captain. To hear Rolston talk about what type of player he wants to wear the "C," click the audio file below.