BOSTON (LGS) — The Buffalo Sabres seem unable to lick their wounds enough to heal them completely.
The team will skate without Maxim Afinogenov yet again Tuesday night as they face off at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston against the Bruins in a 7 p.m. contest.
But the news could have been worse for the team: All signs point to Ryan Miller, Drew Stafford and Jaroslav Spacek being able to play after injuries kept them out of the lineup for all or part of the team’s latest loss in Atlanta Friday night.
But the focus continues to be on Afinogenov, who left practice early Monday after re-injuring the groin that has kept him out of action since the Winter Classic Jan. 1.
“We don’t really know how bad it is,” coach Lindy Ruff said. “He’s just feeling it again. He’s trying to get through it, but it’s been a long time. We felt (Tuesday) would be the day we’d get him back in, and we thought everything looked like a go.”
Meanwhile, Stafford is looking to return after an ankle injury kept him out of the team’s shootout loss in Atlanta. Miller and Spacek were forced to leave the game due to injuries suffered during regulation.
As a result, Jocelyn Thibault surrendered two goals, including one with 18 seconds remaining to allow the game to reach overtime before losing in the shootout.
Jochen Hecht, Jason Pominville, Daniel Paille and Dmitri Kalinin each scored for the Sabres, who overcame a 2-0 deficit in the first 8:19 of the first period to fall short as the team was blanked in four shootout attempts.
Buffalo (23-21-7) is now 11-13-5 on the road this season, and will conclude their season-long seven-game road trip against the Bruins, who are 3-0-1 against the Sabres this season.
Boston(27-20-5) is coming off of a 3-1 loss to Detroit Saturday night.
Chuck Kobasew scored Boston’s only goal, while All-Star goaltender Tim Thomas made 29 saves.
Both Buffalo and Boston entered their latest losses riding three-game winning streaks.
Buffalo will return home immediately after the game to face the New Jersey Devils Wednesday to conclude the season series between the two teams.
New Jersey has won all three games played this season, though they’ve needed the shootout to do so each time.
Their latest meeting, Jan. 12 in HSBC Arena saw the Sabres jump out to an early 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Daniel Paille before allowing the Devils to creep back and eventually tie the game with less than a minute remaining.
The two contests in New Jersey have both ended with the Devils winning by 2-1 scores.
News and Notes:
* Jochen Hecht was named Buffalo’s February captain Monday morning following practice. It’s the German winger’s second stint as the team’s captain as he spent October wearing the team’s “C”. Adam Mair and Brian Campbell will sport an A on their jerseys.
* Buffalo fans will need to wait a little longer for another chance to catch a game on NBC. The broadcast network announced Monday that the Feb. 17 match-up between Detroit and Dallas will be shown, eliminating the game in Buffalo against the Sidney Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins from their schedule.