Sabres' Johansson is out through the weekend

Curtis Lazar will play Thursday against Carolina

Paul Hamilton
November 14, 2019 - 12:51 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Ralph Krueger announced on Thursday that he’s not going to rush Marcus Johansson back and that the veteran forward will not play through the weekend. Krueger did say that he still doesn’t think that the forward's upper-body injury is long-term.

With Vladimir Sobotka out 4-to-6 weeks, Curtis Lazar is up from Rochester and will make his Buffalo Sabres debut.

Lazar had nine points in 11 games with the Amerks, but he will give the Sabres' lineup some much needed toughness. Lazar said, “Nothing’s really changed for me. It doesn’t matter where I’m playing, I try to bring that overall compete and that structure in my game and I’m hoping to inject some life in the lineup.”

Lazar had a good training camp, but wasn’t able to make the team. He said he didn’t go down to the AHL and pout, “I had a really strong training camp and that’s just the way that the chips fell. I know the type of player that I am and the league that I should be in, and I’ve just been waiting for an opportunity like this. And now that I have this chance to play, I want to pick up where I left off.”

The Sabres have lost five straight games and have fallen to 14th in the NHL with a points percentage of .588. If you’re looking at the playoff race, Buffalo is two behind.

Many feel this season is just like last season, Ralph Krueger disagrees, “I’m a new head coach here this year and last year doesn’t interest me at all. What does interest me is we’re building a new story here and this is a completely different season with a different group of guys with a huge buy-in here and a healthy base of confidence and I don’t feel anything but that.”

The Sabres have gone four straight games without scoring a power play goal and have only killed four of their last seven penalties.

Carter Hutton gets the call in goal for Buffalo. He started the game Saturday in Sweden and gave up five goals on 40 shots. Hutton is 6-3-1 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

Thursday's healthy scratches are Colin Miller and John Gilmour.

The Sabres are 1-6-3 in their last 10 games against Carolina. If you flip that, the Hurricanes have won nine consecutive games against the Sabres.

In the Hurricanes' last game, they pasted Ottawa 8-2, but before that, Carolina had lost four in a row.

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton is their leading scorer with eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 18 games.

Carolina is fifth in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind third place Philadelphia, but 11 points back of NHL leader Washington.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for the pre-game at 6:00 live from (716) Food and Sport when they’ll be joined by Krueger, Lazar and Rasmus Dahlin.

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