NHL notes: Myers out long-term

Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers fends off Senators forward Zack Smith at the First Niagara Center in...

Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers fends off Senators forward Zack Smith at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 25, 2011. (DOUG BENZ/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:10 PM ET

Buffalo Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers could be out long-term because of a foot injury, coach Lindy Ruff said Wednesday.

Myers has missed two games since blocking a shot in a loss to Pittsburgh last Friday, and the Sabres have been hoping he would join them for their playoff push in the final two games of the season.

Ruff told the Buffalo News the injury was "bad" but wouldn't confirm that Myers had a broken bone.

Should the Sabres outduel the Washington Capitals for the final playoff spot in the East, Myers would be doubtful for the first round.

CAPS GETTING IN

Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich channeled his inner Joe Namath Wednesday, guaranteeing his team would snag the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

"We're making the playoffs," Laich said on a Washington radio station. "We're not talking worst-case scenario. We're making the playoffs."

The Capitals and Buffalo Sabres are tied for eighth in the conference with 88 points but Washington has the edge thanks to the first tiebreaker. If the Caps win their final two games --Thursday against Florida and Saturday against the New York Rangers -- they are in. Division-leading Florida still needs a single point to clinch a post-season berth.

"Life becomes very simple this time of year, guys," Laich said. "You focus on the very next game. Today, all we can control is our practice. You focus on practice. And tomorrow we can focus on the game. Life becomes very simple this time of year."

BRIEFLY

Former NHLer Vincent Damphousse withdrew Wednesday as a candidate to become general manager of the Canadiens. He said the job would be a stimulating challenge but that his family is his priority now ... New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday's game against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury. Clarkson will likely play Thursday against Detroit ... Concussed Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will travel to Minnesota but won't play Thursday against the Wild. Toews has already missed 20 games with the concussion and is still experiencing symptoms. "There are always little things here and there that trigger it," he said ... Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton, out since Jan. 22 with a concussion, skated alongside injured goalie Tuukka Rask Wednesday. Horton skated for 40 minutes but still doesn't appear close to playing again soon ... With three games left in the regular season, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock still hasn't decided on his starting goalie for the playoffs. Brian Elliott or Jaroslav Halak have both been outstanding sharing the load but Halak has more playoff experience.


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