Ristolainen played over 26 minutes for the second straight game Thursday against San Jose, and also registered a team-high six shots on goal.

The Sabres have been talking about reducing Ristolainen's ice time for three straight years, but through four games this season he's averaging over 26 minutes per game yet again. Some of that can be attributed to more power-play time with a league-wide crackdown on slashing, but the Sabres just don't have anyone else who can play at both ends of the ice as effectively as Ristolainen. He's doing everything he can to help with two assists and 13 shots on goal, but a revamped blue line hasn't been as much of a help as everyone expected, so head coach Phil Housley is leaning on the young Finn once again. Ristolainen is easily a top-25 defenseman in fantasy, but you really wonder how much pressure and minutes he can take on before he starts to falter. The Sabres have three games remaining in their Western Conference road trip in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Las Vegas.

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