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Minute-hogging Pysyk a bright spot for struggling Sabres

By John Vogl

The losses aren't any fun. There's no way around that. But Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk hasn't lost sight of where he is.

"It’s a fun game, obviously, a fun lifestyle, a fun career," the 21-year-old said today in First Niagara Center. "Playing in the NHL is a dream of everybody, and you want to make sure that what you did today makes sure you’re going to be here tomorrow.

"The nature of the game and the business is it could be gone any second. Obviously, a lot of things can happen pretty quickly, so you’ve got to enjoy every game."

There's been a lot to enjoy for Pysyk. He's third on the Sabres in ice time at 20:20 per game, trailing only defense partner Christian Ehrhoff (24:44) and fellow blue-liner Tyler Myers (21:33). More impressively, Pysyk is third among rookies behind Nashville's Seth Jones (24:42) and Winnipeg's Jacob Trouba (21:15).

In Pysyk's 14 games, he has one assist and a plus-1 rating, one of only three Sabres with a positive number. Ehrhoff and newcomer Matt Moulson are also plus-1 to lead the team.

"We’ve got to start winning here, have a little more team success," Pysyk said. "It’s fun to be in the NHL, but it’s going to be a lot more fun once we start winning."

The Sabres' next chance to win is Thursday in New York against the Rangers. They used the following lineup in practice today:

Forwards

Moulson-Cody Hodgson-Tyler Ennis

Steve Ott-Marcus Foligno-Ville Leino

Zemgus Girgensons-Mikhail Grigorenko-Brian Flynn

Cody McCormick-Johan Larsson-Drew Stafford

(Injured Corey Tropp and suspended Patrick Kaleta also skated)

Defense

Ehrhoff-Pysyk

Henrik Tallinder-Tyler Myers

Rasmus Ristolainen-Jamie McBain

(Rookie Nikita Zadorov skated with suspended forward John Scott, making Zadorov a likely scratch Thursday.)

To hear coach Ron Rolston -- who talked about head shots, fighting and the return of obstruction to the NHL -- click the audio file below.

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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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