By John Vogl
Ryan Miller made it through another full workout today without feeling the effects of a recent groin strain, so the goaltender will be available for the Sabres when they host Columbus on Thursday.
"We’re in a case where I really only missed one game in the schedule, and hopefully I get back in the rhythm where I was and we’ll go again," said Miller, who didn't dress on his scheduled night off Saturday in Pittsburgh and served as the backup Tuesday.
Miller could soon be joined by another Buffalo regular. Henrik Tallinder (upper body) worked out with skating coach Dawn Braid this morning, and coach Ron Rolston said the defenseman should be available Saturday when the Sabres visit Chicago.
Nikita Zadorov, one of the Sabres' two first-round draft picks, practiced for the first time since suffering a finger injury during training camp. The 18-year-old defenseman is still likely to be returned to his junior team in London, Ont.
"He would be available if we wanted to keep him here," Rolston said. "We have to make that decision."
The coach also has a decision to make regarding center Mikhail Grigorenko. The 19-year-old started on the third line during Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss but soon was benched and skated just 8:07.
Rookie Johan Larsson took Grigorenko's spot today in the middle of wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Brian Flynn. Grigorenko filled in for absent center Cody Hodgson alongside Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek, but Hodgson (maintenance day) will play Thursday, which would leave Grigorenko out of the lineup if the forwards stay the same.
"We’re in a tough situation where we go back to just putting people in the right situations, and the matchup wasn’t good," Rolston said of the benching before moving on to Grigorenko's competitiveness. "It’s getting there, but it needs to continue to improve. That’s that last hurdle for him. That’s something that he’s going to work on."
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