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MONTREAL – The way things are going for Tyler Myers, it's surprising his foot connected with his equipment bag when he kicked it in disgust Saturday.

The Buffalo Sabres defenseman fell deeper into his season-opening slump during the 6-1 loss to Montreal. He was on the ice for all three of the Canadiens' goals in the second period and finished minus-3.

“I think sometimes when you're focused on not making mistakes it ends up that you do,” Myers said in Bell Centre. “I think I just need to get my head around just going out there and playing my game the way I know I can.

“It's a tough time right now. I've just got to work through it.”

How's his confidence?

“How's it look?” he said with a grimace. “I think you guys can tell.”

Myers and defense partner Jordan Leopold were on the ice for Boston's final three goals Thursday, so Myers had a stretch in which he was victimized for six of seven goals allowed by Buffalo.

Coach Lindy Ruff hinted Friday he might sit Myers or Leopold, but he put them back in together. Even though Myers struggled again, he'll likely be in the lineup today when the Sabres host Florida in First Niagara Center. Defenseman Andrej Sekera left the game against Montreal with a lower-body injury and is doubtful for the Panthers.

T.J. Brennan would replace Sekera, and there's no one left to replace Myers unless the Sabres call up a blue-liner from Rochester.

“We could have really backed off the ice time, but after Sekera went down we had no choice,” Ruff said of Myers. “He's making some poor decisions that have really hurt him. He's in that category now where you make them and it hurts our team.”

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Sekera crawled to the bench in the opening minute after absorbing a slap shot by defenseman Alexei Emelin. During a stoppage in play, Sekera was helped to the dressing room but returned a short time later.

He played four more shifts in the first period but didn't return after intermission. He was scheduled to have further tests today.

“It looks like just a bruise,” Ruff said. “It doesn't look like it should be too long. He tried to gut it out. There was just a lot of discomfort, which didn't allow him to keep playing.”

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The beatdown wasn't fun for Cody McCormick, but it still beat sitting in the press box. The winger played his first game after missing the opening seven with a finger injury.

“It was good until they started scoring on us, but I personally felt good on the ice,” McCormick said. “It wasn't an ideal game for us.”

He skated 8:55 and attempted three shots, though none reached goaltender Carey Price.

“The timing felt like it came back pretty quick,” McCormick said. “It's been too long. I just wanted to get in there and see if I could help out.

“I just wish I could have helped out a little more.”

To make room for McCormick on the roster, the Sabres placed defenseman Robyn Regehr on injured reserve. He made the trip to Montreal but spent his time in a walking boot.

To make room for McCormick in the lineup, the Sabres made left wing Nathan Gerbe a healthy scratch.

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Ten of the Canadiens' 18 skaters reached the scoresheet. Lars Eller had three points, including a goal, while Rene Bourque and David Desharnais scored two goals each.

Montreal welcomed back defenseman P.K. Subban, who missed the opening six games while negotiating a new contract. He had one assist and three hits in 18:01.

“When you're playing your first game out there, and the team has a great start, it's sort of a relief,” Subban said. “I'm just happy with the win.”



email: jvogl@buffnews.com