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.
taggedMikhail Grigorenko | Rasmus Ristolainen