By Bill Hoppe
BUFFALO — The Rochester Americans’ playoff push got a big boost this afternoon, as the Sabres assigned rookie wingers Marcus Foligno and Corey Tropp to their 11th-place AHL affiliate.
Foligno and Tropp had secured regular NHL roles recently, impressing during the Sabres’ run at the postseason, which ended with Thursday’s 2-1 loss in Philadelphia.
The Amerks, two points behind eighth-place Houston for the final Western Conference playoff spot, have five games remaining. They play Saturday in Hamilton and Sunday in Glens Falls.
It’s possible the Sabres will send rookie defensemen T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb back after their season ends Saturday in Boston.
The physical Foligno was one of the Sabres’ top forwards following his March 9 recall, compiling six goals, 13 points and a plus-6 rating in 13 games. The 20-year-old played left wing on a lethal line beside Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford.
Meanwhile, the gritty Tropp, the first forward the Sabres recalled this season, had three goals, eight points and an even rating in 34 games. The 22-year-old had been up since Feb. 24. He recently played left wing with Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek.