BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Sabres forward Ales Kotalik is expected to miss Buffalo's season opener against the New York Islanders on Friday because of a knee injury.
Coach Lindy Ruff said Monday that Kotalik is experiencing pain in his knee and has not been cleared to skate.
``It doesn't look good for playing in the opener or this opening weekend, but I wouldn't project past that of him missing any more games,'' Ruff said.
After hosting the Islanders on Friday, the two teams play again on Long Island the following day. The Sabres are then off until hosting Atlanta on Oct. 11.
A two-time 20-goal scorer, Kotalik was hurt during practice Thursday and missed the Sabres' final two preseason games. He had a goal and assist in three preseason games last month and is coming off an average season in which he finished 10th on the team with 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 66 games.
The Sabres are generally healthy entering the season, though defenseman Teppo Numminen is out indefinitely after having heart surgery last month.
Buffalo demoted three players Monday - including their 2005 first-round draft pick, forward Marek Zagrapan - to its AHL affiliate in Rochester. Zagrapan had a goal and an assist in six preseason games.
Also demoted were forward Mark Mancari and defenseman Michael Funk.
The moves leave the team with the NHL maximum 23-player roster.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins-Sharks Series Preview After a much-needed respite, Pittsburgh and San Jose return to the ice Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. Which side will own the upper hand when the action...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 7 Pick Will it be a high-scoring game 7 when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins-Sharks Series Preview After a much-needed respite, Pittsburgh and San Jose return to the ice Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. Which side will own the upper hand when the action...
Thumbnail Lightning vs. Penguins Game 7 Pick Will it be a high-scoring game 7 when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins meet tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick The San Jose Sharks look to close out the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues in...
Thumbnail Penguins vs. Lightning Game 6 Pick Can the Tampa Bay Lightning close out the Eastern Conference Finals when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 8PM ET in...
Thumbnail Sharks vs. Blues Game 5 Pick Which team will take a key 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Finals tonight as the St. Louis Blueshost the San Jose Sharks...
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Team Pages