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Leino could return to Sabres' lineup tonight; Weber out long term with thumb injury

By John Vogl

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Sabres badly need someone who can create offense. Ville Leino has a chance to heed the call.

The forward might play tonight when the Sabres visit Tampa Bay. He said his broken rib, suffered during the season opener, is no longer giving him discomfort.

"I’m feeling good," he said in Tampa Bay Times Forum. "It’s going to be for coaches and me to make the move.

"I’m just excited to go back out there and play hockey. I love playing hockey, so for me it’s just going to be fun to go out there and play, and that’s always when I play the best, too."

Coach Ron Rolston said it's a "possibility" that Leino returns against the Lightning.

"He’s obviously a veteran presence here," Rolston said. "He’s got the ability to create offense and control the puck, so it’ll be a help, but he hasn’t played for a while, too, so it’s going to take him a bit, I’m sure."

The Sabres would need to clear a roster spot to activate Leino, and they could do so by placing defenseman Mike Weber on injured reserve. He has a cast on his left thumb after blocking a shot Friday in Florida and will be out long term, Rolston said.

The only player to take the ice for the optional morning skate was suspended Patrick Kaleta, so it's not clear if Ryan Miller will start in goal as scheduled or if Jhonas Enroth has earned a second straight start after his 44-save performance Friday.

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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 | jvogl@buffnews.com

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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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