By John Vogl
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- The Sabres are once again going with seven defensemen in the lineup. They don't have much of a choice.
After suspensions and injuries, the Sabres have just 11 forwards on the roster. That means an extra D-man will play tonight against Florida in BB&T Center.
"We’ll rotate seven guys back there," coach Ron Rolston said today. "If anything happens up front, then we can move a guy up there."
The Sabres are carrying eight defensemen, and Henrik Tallinder is the odd man out. He made a mistake during the 5-2 loss to Boston that resulted in a goal on an odd-man rush.
"He’s played well for us," Rolston said. "He’s a presence in our room. He offers leadership. We’ve liked his game. He’ll be back in there tomorrow."
The Sabres will visit Tampa Bay on Saturday. Jhonas Enroth will play in net tonight, leaving Ryan Miller for the Lightning.
Ville Leino (broken rib) practiced with the Sabres but won't return to the lineup until next week.
"It’s basically getting back in shape now and being comfortable with what he’s got to do when he’s playing, taking hits, getting hit," Rolston said. "If he’s going to have the puck, he’s going to get hit, so he’s got to be ready with that, comfortable with that. It’ll probably be next week."
Patrick Kaleta, who will serve the seventh game of his 10-game suspension, told The News he and his advisers have not decided whether they will appeal the penalty to a neutral arbitrator. At this point, a reduction in his suspension would likely only result in some of the $152,439 in lost salary being returned because the 10 games might be up before a decision is made.
Kevin Porter cleared waivers today and has been assigned to the Rochester Americans.
"It’s always the toughest thing you have to do is cut somebody, waive somebody," Rolston said. "I have a lot of respect for him. He came here last year when I got here, and he worked really hard for us and played very well. He’s a guy that just brings it every day, and he battles and he’s a real good teammate.
"It’s a difficult thing, but it’s kind of where we’re at, especially with the amount of young guys that are getting opportunity here. I know he’ll land on his feet, have a good attitude about it and keep working."