If the Buffalo Sabres are going to make the playoffs, they’ll now have to do it without two of their best defensemen.
Just 48 hours after announcing Christian Ehrhoff would miss the rest of the regular season, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff told reporters that Tyler Myers is done as well.
More, from Sabres.com:
Ruff confirmed that Myers will not be available for the team’s final two regular season games this week in Philadelphia and Boston.
“He won’t be on the trip. Tyler’s out. It’ll be a period of time,” said Ruff. “What time frame that is? It’s more than just this week.”
Ruff wouldn’t divulge any specific details of the injury, only saying that Myers has a “bad foot.” Myers has missed the past two games after taking a shot to the foot late in Friday’s loss to Pittsburgh.
The losses of Ehrhoff and Myers have hit the Sabres hard as they’ve allowed 14 goals in their past three games, including five in Tuesday’s must-win over Toronto. The injuries have spread Buffalo’s blueline pretty thin — Alex Sulzer, who has played 27 games this year, got a season-high 24:35 of ice time against the Leafs; Brayden McNabb, who has spent most of the year in AHL Rochester, played over 14 minutes.
Ruff admitted things were dicey on his blueline last night, but said he and his coaching staff are working to fix it.
“Some of it was lack of communication. Some of it was the coverage. But we do have to tighten up, there’s no secret,” Ruff explained. “That’s on myself and my staff to make sure that we tighten up those areas so it’s not a game where you give 16 or 17 (chances). We’ve got to get it back to the norm, which is somewhere around 10 or 11, in that area.”
You know a playoff series is starting to rev up when teams can’t even peacefully share an ice surface during warm-ups.
The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to draw a red line in the sand between each other before Game 3, with the two sides exchanging a couple bumps and mean looks.
It’s … honestly a pretty amusing spectacle.
You can watch it all in the video above. Perhaps this GIF will fuel a meme or two:
Brian Boyle downplayed the exchange(s):
The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled tough guys Tom Sestito and Steve Oleksy from the AHL on Tuesday.
This move makes a sense for a couple of reasons.
Most clearly, things are getting nasty between the Penguins and Washington Capitals, so Pittsburgh is bringing in a couple of brutes. Each player isn’t shy about piling up penalty minutes, whether that be in the NHL or AHL.
The other reason: with injuries and Kris Letang‘s suspension, Oleksy could provide some depth. Justin Schultz is motivated to prove himself, yet Oleksy provides a little insurance.
Is it the ideal scenario in a big playoff game? Nope, but if brute force ends up being a factor, the Penguins added some muscle.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to take the series lead for the first time against the New York Islanders, who are trying to regain the advantage on home ice at the Barclays Center after a split in Tampa Bay. You can catch Game 3 between these teams on NBCSN (7 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
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Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Strome saga continues, will be a healthy scratch for Game 3
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Artem Anisimov on Tuesday underwent successful surgery on his injured right wrist, the Chicago Blackhawks announced.
“We anticipate his return to full hockey activities in approximately six to eight weeks,” said team physician Dr. Michael Terry in a statement.
The news comes eight days after the Blackhawks were ousted in the first round, eliminated in seven games by the St. Louis Blues.
Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in last summer’s blockbuster deal for Brandon Saad, the 27-year-old Anisimov enjoyed the second 20-goal season of his career and fell just two points shy of his previous career best of 44 when he was with the New York Rangers.
He played the bulk of this season on a line with two highly skilled players in Patrick Kane, the league-leader in points with 106, and Artemi Panarin, named as a Calder Trophy finalist on Monday.
In March, Anisimov was named to Russia’s preliminary roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, although the recovery schedule outlined above should allow plenty of time for Anisimov to be physically ready for the tournament when it begins in September.
Related: Three major challenges facing the Chicago Blackhawks, who won’t be champs in 2016