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Leino makes season debut vs. Ottawa

Mar 16, 2013, 3:23 PM EDT

Ville Leino, Ilya Bryzgalov AP

If things seem a bit more exciting for fans in Buffalo today, it’s because Ville Leino is back in the lineup for the first time this season.

Leino has been practicing more of late with the team after dealing with a hip ailment and it was thought he’d be making his season debut tomorrow. Instead, he gets the start alongside Tyler Ennis and Steve Ott this afternoon against Ottawa.

After the Sabres sent rookie Mikhail Grigorenko back to the QMJHL Quebec Remparts yesterday, it’s on Leino to step in and try to justify the monster contract the team signed him to two summers ago. Ideally, he should be able to help give them a second line that can score goals.

With the Sabres sitting seven points out of the eighth spot in the East, there’s time for them to get into the playoff race, but the wins have to start coming immediately.

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