The Buffalo Sabres made one roster move on Monday prior to facing the Phoenix Coyotes. The team has recalled defenseman Mark Pysyk from the Rochester Americans, sending defenseman Chad Ruhwedel back to the AHL in his place.
Pysyk returns to Buffalo after an impressive two-game stint in Rochester. He had a pair of shots and a pair of penalty minutes in Rochester’s 1-0 loss to the Lake Erie Monsters on December 20. Pysyk also had an assist and one shot in the following game, a 3-2 loss to Lake Erie.
Pysyk has four assists and 10 penalty minutes in 31 games with the Sabres this season. He has arguably been one of the team’s better defensemen and should be able to bring a spark to the lineup upon his return.
Ruhwedel, meanwhile, returns to Rochester after being a healthy scratch in three straight games for the Buffalo Sabres. He didn’t play at all while he was called up, so sending him back down to the Amerks makes a lot more sense than simply forcing him to sit in the press box in Buffalo.
Ruhwedel is one of the Amerks’ leading point-scorers, with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 26 games this season. He has 12 penalty minutes and 46 shots on goal with the Amerks this season – and three of his four goals have come on the power play.
Forward Johan Larsson was at the Sabres’ morning skate on Monday, but was not on the ice with his teammates. It’s uncertain at this time whether he’ll play against the Coyotes or not, but either way – it makes sense. Kevin Porter is expected to miss some time with injury, so Larsson could be a possible replacement. The move may also be precautionary; as the Amerks head overseas, it might be good to have an extra forward around in Buffalo in case something happens over the next couple days.
If Larsson doesn’t play tonight, John Scott may return to the lineup tonight as a forward to replace Porter for the time being. Scott skated during the Sabres’ morning skate as a defenseman.
The Sabres face the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, while the Rochester Americans are heading off to Davos, Switzerland to participate in the Spengler Cup, a tournament that also includes Team Canada and a number of international teams.