Carlo Colaiacovo

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The Ducks just keep on winning as Andersen shuts out Sabres

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in his fourth career shutout, Sami Vatanen scored on a power play in the second period and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Wednesday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.

The resurgent Ducks climbed within two points of the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim is 20-4-2 since losing back-to-back games road games against the Islanders and Rangers on Dec. 21-22.

Robin Lehner made 28 saves for the Sabres, who were shut out for the fifth time. Andersen is 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average in four career starts against Buffalo. This was his first shutout of the season.

The Ducks had scored at least five goals in a franchise-record four consecutive games coming into this one but failed to get a shot on net during the final 10:38 of a scoreless first period.

Vatanen cashed in at 3:20 of the second during Anaheim’s first power play, beating Lehner through multiple screens with a 45-foot wrist shot from the slot for his ninth goal. Mark Pysek was serving an interference penalty.

Anaheim has scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games, going 9 for 20 during that stretch. Buffalo’s opponents were 2 for 31 with the man advantage over the Sabres’ previous nine contests.

The Sabres went on a 3-on-1 rush with about 4 1-2 minutes left in the period, but Andersen made a glove save on Evander Kane‘s 30-foot wrist shot from the left circle. Andersen then stuck out his left leg at the last instant to rob Justin Bailey on a backhanded rebound attempt from the edge of the crease.

NOTES: Five of Anaheim’s six shutout wins have been by 1-0 scores. … Buffalo D Carlo Colaiacovo was back in the lineup in place of Mike Weber, who was traded to Washington on Tuesday after playing his first 341 NHL games with the Sabres. Colaiacovo was a healthy scratch in all but two of the team’s previous 32 contests. … The only other meeting between the teams this season resulted in a 3-0 Sabres victory on Dec. 17, with Chad Johnson making 44 saves for his only shutout of the season. … The Ducks are 11-1-1 since C Shawn Horcoff began serving his 20-game suspension from the NHL for violating the terms of the league’s performance-enhancing substances program. … The Ducks are 21-0-3 when leading after two periods.

Trade deadline ‘will be a factor’ in sorting Buffalo’s crowded blueline

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Dan Bylsma does not like carrying eight healthy defensemen on his active roster.

Unfortunately for him, that’s where he’s at right now.

The eight, all now healthy, are Josh Gorges, Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, Mark Pysyk, Cody Franson, Jake McCabe, Mike Weber and Carlo Colaiacovo.

More on what Bylsma thinks of this, from the Buffalo News:

Bylsma has said several times this season he abhors having eight on his roster and the team would have to do something about the situation if it ever evolved.

“We’re there,” Bylsma said with a pained smile after practice Tuesday in First Niagara Center…

…”I’m not going to rotate or alternate guys. We’ll play the players that will give us the best chance to have success and win a hockey game.

“We’re a couple weeks away from the trade deadline as well and that will be a factor.”

Common sense suggests Weber or Colaiacovo could be on the move.

Weber, 28, has only appeared in 32 games this year, after playing 68 and 64 in the two seasons prior. While injuries have played a role — he missed a month with a knee injury — he’s a UFA at season’s end, and possibly not in the club’s long-term plans.

Hence his dwindling usage this year.

Colaiacovo has only played once in the last 22 games, and could be a cheap depth rental for a club looking to stockpile bodies on the blueline.

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Sabres announce Ennis (upper body), Pysyk (lower body) now out week-to-week

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Not a great day for Buffalo on the injury update front.

On Thursday, head coach Dan Bylsma said that forward Tyler Ennis and d-man Mark Pysyk are now both out week-to-week with their upper- and lower-body injuries, respectively.

Ennis has been out of the lineup since Nov. 23, missing Buffalo’s last four games as a result. The former first-round pick was having a fairly decent year (for a Sabres club that’s struggled offensively), scoring 10 points in 19 games while averaging just under 19 minutes per night.

As for Pysyk, he’s been out of the lineup since mid-October, and has missed the last seven games. Like Ennis, he was a pretty regular fixture in the lineup to start the year, averaging over 16 minutes through the first 18 games.

With Pysyk out, the Sabres have been rolling of a defensive unit comprised of Zach Bogosian, Carlo Colaiacovo, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Jake McCabe and Rasmus Ristolainen.

Another injured d-man, Mike Weber, has been limited with a knee problem.

‘It was a scary incident’: Colaiacovo returns to Sabres practice after dented trachea

Carlo Colaiacovo‘s remarkably quick recovery from what appeared to be a serious injury continued on Monday, as he returned to practice roughly 48 hours after suffering a dented trachea.

Colaicovo, who was hospitalized after taking a Viktor Arvidsson cross-check to the throat on Saturday, skated with his Buffalo teammates on Monday in advance of tomorrow’s game against Detroit.

“I feel good,” Colaiacovo said, per the Sabres’ website. “Obviously it was a scary incident and at the time it was pretty painful but it is what it is.

“Right now, it’s not really stopping me from doing much.”

Though he said he’s still feeling pain in and around his throat, Colaiacovo is eligible to return to the Sabres’ lineup tomorrow.

The 32-year-old, who has appeared in 15 games this season, would no doubt like to play tomorrow. It’d put him up against the same Detroit team that employed him during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, only to buy out his contract at the end of the year.

Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).