By John Vogl
The Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans both play games at 5 p.m. While the Amerks' game is more meaningful, the Sabres had little choice but to raid the minor-league roster again.
Buffalo has called up goaltender Andrey Makarov, defenseman Mark Pysyk and forward Nicolas Deslauriers for the season finale against the New York Islanders. The Sabres needed to restock the roster after five players got hurt Saturday in Boston.
The Amerks, and more specifically their fans, would prefer those three contributors skate in Cleveland this afternoon when Rochester visits Lake Erie. The Amerks are in seventh place with 80 points, just three more than the trio of Oklahoma City, Charlotte and Rockford. Eight teams make the playoffs, and the race will be decided during the AHL's final week.
While the Sabres theoretically could have called up lesser players to fill the roster in an effort to keep the Amerks at peak form, the organization has said it has a duty to reward deserving players with NHL time.