BUFFALO, NY- Four defenseman missed the Sabres practice Sunday. Dmitry Kulikov, Cody Franson, Justin Falk and Taylor Fedun all sat our practice with injuries. Head coach Dan Bylsma said after practice that “It doesn’t look like there’s a chance that any of them can play tomorrow, day to day is probably appropriate for all those guys." Expect the Sabres to recall two defenseman from the Rochester Americans.
The Sabres are in Detroit Monday night. It will be the Sabres last game ever in Joe Louis Arena. Bylsma, a Michigan native said "it was the Taj Mahal" for him growing up and celebrating the Penguins Stanley Cup championship over the Red Wings was "probably the best four hours of my NHLcareer." Tyler Ennis said his first memory of Joe Louis Arena was watching his former junior teammate Darren Helm play there. Then he added "now that I've made the NHL and played there "its a great barn to play in. You're in it right away, its smaller, its darker, and its got so much character and every time you're out there its just amazing to play in a place that has such history. It will be a fun one tomorrow."
In the Sabres shootout win over Anaheim Friday night Rasmus Ristolainen scored a huge goal in the shootout with a spectacular move. He deked left, went right and then somehow managed to reach left around goaltender Jonathan Bernier with one arm. It was impressive especially since he'd never been used in a shootout before. “It worked out as planned. I got a couple a texts after that one. I’ve been saving it because I haven’t shot yet. That’s my move.”
The Sabres returned home after the Anaheim in game for a number of players to take in some NCAA basketball tournament action at the KeyBank Center. Defenseman Jake McCabe played his college hockey at Wisconsin and enjoyed the Badgers win over Villanova. "It was a fun game to watch. I filled out a couple of brackets. In one of them I had Wisconsin upsetting Villanova so that bracket I'm sure is probably doing a little bit better than my other one." Ennis was among the other players who caught some basketball action. "I didn't have a team that I was cheering for but I was with Caber, he's a big Wisconsin guy so it was nice to see them get the win and Caber was pretty happy about that."
Ennis said he filled out two brackets. "I don't know anything about college basketball. Its not looking too good for me."
Face off Monday night in Detroit is scheduled for 7:30.