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Ristolainen back in for Sabres; Grigorenko in line to be scratched again

By John Vogl

UNIONDALE -- One first-round pick will back for Buffalo. It appears another is sitting again.

Rasmus Ristolainen, selected eighth overall in June, will return to the blue line tonight when the Sabres visit the New York Islanders. Ristolainen was minus-3 in the opening six games before getting scratched for Monday's 2-1 loss to Minnesota.

"I have to play a lot better and help the team more," Ristolainen said in Nassau Coliseum.

The defenseman wants to improve his play in front of the net, both through effort and positioning.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Grigorenko is set to be scratched for the second time in four games. The center, selected 12th overall in 2012, joined defenseman Jamie McBain as the only skaters on the ice this morning for an optional workout. McBain is expected to sit, too.

Grigorenko has no points in six games. He started on the third line Monday with wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Flynn but skated just 8:57. It was Grigorenko's second game with less than nine mintues in his last three outings.

To hear from Ristolainen and coach Ron Rolston, click the audio files below.

Ron Rolston

Rasmus Ristolainen


Mikhail Grigorenko | Rasmus Ristolainen
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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 |