With Jordan Leopold sent to St. Louis on Saturday, the
Buffalo Sabres have to replace more than 21 minutes of ice time.
In their first game without the veteran defenseman, the
beneficiaries were Tyler Myers and rookie Mark Pysyk.
Myers skated a game-high 28 minutes, 13 seconds in the
shootout loss, while Pysyk was on the ice for 13:52 – a game after being a
healthy scratch in Florida.
"It felt good," Myers said of the extended work. "It's
whatever the coaches are going to decide how to play us. I think all the 'D' has been doing a really good job of adjusting to what has been given to them."
Myers didn't learn of Leopold's trade until arriving at
First Niagara Center for the game.
WASHINGTON -- Little by little, the future is making its way from Rochester to Buffalo. One of the Sabres' top prospects gets the chance for his NHL debut tonight.
With Andrej Sekera still banged up after Saturday's loss to Ottawa, Mark Pysyk has been recalled by the Sabres and will wear No. 53 tonight in Verizon Center against the Capitals.
Pysyk, 21, was Buffalo's first-round pick in 2010. The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder had four goals, 14 asissts and a plus-8 rating (tied with Kevin Porter for the team high) in 57 games with the Amerks. He was in Toronto and played in Saturday night's loss to the Marlies when he got the word.
"It was a tough game," Pysyk said. "We didn't play the way we wanted to but the night turned around once I got the news. I had no idea, no expectations. You hope for the best but I had really no idea. I was just doing my job, putting all my focus in there."
"Just a real smart defenseman who skates really well," said interim coach Ron Rolston. "Good puck mover, good defender, he's got a complete game. He really keeps the game easy on himself. He's real efficient. This will be his third game on three nights here so making sure he controls his anxiety and plays the way he can."
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.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, is in his sixth season covering the Buffalo Sabres. 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.