The Sabres have encountered their first bit of turbulence, and it had little to do with their NHL-record-tying win streak ending Saturday night. The Sabres learned earlier in the day that top defenseman Henrik Tallinder will be out as much as two months with a broken left wrist.
Tallinder was to have surgery Sunday. He was replaced in the lineup by seventh defenseman Nathan Paetsch, who skated 12:55 in his season debut.
The depth falls off considerably from there, however. Next up from AHL Rochester if there's another blue-line injury would be a first-year pro. Andrej Sekera showed well in training camp and could have made the roster if not for Paetsch's experience, but he has been battling a groin injury. The other options are Michael Funk and Mike Card, also in their first season outside juniors.
Tallinder's injury is in the same place as the one that knocked him out of the playoffs last spring.
The Sabres' magical streak couldn't last forever, and it came to a dramatic end Saturday night in HSBC Arena. The Sabres never led throughout the game against the Thrashers but also never fell behind by more than a goal. They tied the score for the fourth time on left wing Jochen Hecht's goal with 1:44 left in the third period before falling, 5-4, in a shootout.
The win streak ended at 10 (leaving them tied with the 1993-94 Maple Leafs for the best start to a season) when former Sabres winger Slava Kozlov scored the lone shootout goal. Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen turned aside shots by Daniel Briere, Maxim Afinogenov and Thomas Vanek.
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