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02 March 2007

Lurking in the HSBC Rafters

Some Sabres news and notes:

Daniel Briere is expected back for tonight's game. He missed the 6-1 drubbing of the Maple Leafs on Tuesday with the Flu.

Unfortunately, that same bug appears to have bitten Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder and he is questionable for tonight's game. It appears Mark Mancari and newly acquired Mikko Lehtonen are the top candidates to be recalled if necessary.

Danius Zubrus will wear the number 15 for his Sabres debut. Derek Roy had graciously offered Zubrus' number 9 from Washington but Zubrus chose to go with the number he wore in Montreal. In case you are curious the last Sabre to wear 15 in a regular season game was Milan Bartovic. It is expected Zubrus will start the game between Adam Mair and Mike Ryan and will see time on both special teams units.

Chris Drury has been ruled out of this weekends games against Montreal and Toronto but Lindy Ruff is quoted as saying he is "feeling better."

Young pest Patrick Kaleta continues to make a big impression on the Sabres faithful. He wears number 36, coincidentally last worn by uberpest Matthew Barnaby, and has already gained recognition for some big hits. In separate games last week he recorded highlight reel hits on Chris Mcgratten of the Senators and Brian McCabe of the Leafs. While not ready for prime time yet Kaleta has the makings of another Barbaby, Darcy Tucker-like disturber that opposing fans will love to hate.

Fearless prediction: Sabres 4 - Habs 2. Sabres, though beat up, catch a break due to Montreal injuries and the fact that Sabre nemesis Christobal Huet is out. I look for a big game from Danny Briere in return and for Danius Zubrus to come up big for the home crowd.

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