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Tallinder ready to return for Sabres; Rangers looking to keep home ice

By John Vogl

NEW YORK -- Playing tonight is a matter of pride for Henrik Tallinder. The game means a lot more to the New York Rangers.

Tallinder says he's ready to return to the Buffalo blue line after a four-game injury absence.

"It’s just trying to finish what you started," Tallinder said after the morning skate in Madison Square Garden. "I’m just looking forward to playing again. You never like to be sitting out or being hurt. I’m just happy that my body feels healthy again."

Sabres coach Ted Nolan said he'll dress John Scott for the warm-up in case Tallinder isn't ready. Matt Hackett will start in goal for Buffalo. Zenon Konopka is expected to be a healthy scratch.

The Rangers head into their penultimate game in second place in the Metropolitan Division. With the new playoff format, that means home ice in the first round against the division's third-place team. Philadelphia and Columbus are both two points back of the Rangers.

"I could say if you get home ice it’s real good, and if you don’t it’s not that big of a deal," New York coach Alain Vigneault said with a grin. "Playing in front of your fans is always something special. We’ve got a possibility to get home ice, and we’re going to work real hard to get it.

"Right now we want to keep playing well so we feel good about our game. We want two points tonight."


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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 |