Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

January 27, 2010

SABRES NOTEBOOK: Lydman, Montador get night off

BUFFALO — Apparently unhappy with the recent play from his third defensive pairing, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff made some radical changes to the lineup for Wednesday night’s matchup against the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils.

He swapped out the duo of Toni Lydman and Steve Montador for Andrej Sekera and Nathan Paetsch, both of whom had yet to see action this year. Montador and Lydman combined for a minus-10 over the last two games, losses to San Jose and Vancouver, and following the latter, star goalie Ryan Miller complained about the team’s attention to key players in the Canucks’ lineup.

Paetsch said he didn’t expect to be in the lineup and wasn’t told he’d play until just before gametime, but he had an inkling something was up during the team’s morning skate.

Either way, he was thrilled to return to get a chance to play, his last action coming on Dec. 29 when he played just 3:11 against Pittsburgh. Paetsch tallied an assist on Adam Mair’s goal as the Sabres scored a 2-1 shootout victory.

“We were both really excited to get back in. I thought Reg (Sekera) played great,” Paetsch said. “He’s a great young talent and he’s going to be a great hockey player in this league for a long time. He’s a fast skater, he creates a lot of open ice.

“When they put me and Reg in there, they’re obviously going to expect some offensive ability, that’s what we bring to the table.”

Also, winger Clarke MacArthur was given a seat for the first time this season. MacArthur has 13 goals and 23 points on the season, but is a team-worst minus-12 on the year.

•••

Tim Connolly had his points streak halted at 16, getting a pair of shots on net, but failing to register a point on New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur.

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