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Sabres lose Connolly, Kalinin for Game 3

Tim Connolly Connolly

Sabres forward Tim Connolly, tied for the team lead with 11 playoff points, will not play in Game 3 Wednesday night as a result of the crushing blow he received from Senators forward Peter Schaefer in the first minute of Game 2 in Ottawa on Monday.

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said Wednesday morning that Connolly is day-to-day. Game 4 is Thursday evening.

More troubling for the Sabres, however, will be the loss of defenseman Dmitri Kalinin, who is out "week to week" with a leg injury also sustained in Game 2.

The earliest he could return is a week from now, Ruff said.

Rory Fitzpatrick will replace Kalinin, while rookie forward Jiri Novotny is expected to take Connolly's place in the lineup for the
series' third game.

"This team's mantra all year has been 'No excuses,"' Ruff
said. "We don't miss a beat. All year long players have relished
additional ice time and additional roles."

Fitzpatrick played in Game 4 of Buffalo's quarterfinal series
against Philadelphia when he replaced Teppo Numminen, who was
recovering from an irregular heartbeat.

"I anticipate him being very good," Ruff said of Fitzpatrick.
"His attitude is tremendous, and he's kept himself ready."

The Sabres lead the series 2-0.

Scott Burnside is an NHL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.