BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Oliver Lauridsen added another “first” to his list in Game No. 8 of his rookie season: A fight.
Ninety-one seconds into the first period, Lauridsen was whacking away at Buffalo’s irritable Patrick Kaleta behind the net.
They dropped the gloves. Lauridsen’s sweater quickly came over his head. He got pummeled.
“There was a hit behind the net,” Lauridsen recalled. “I cross-checked him a little bit and we looked at each other and he kinda beat me to the first punch.
“The sweater came over my head a little too early. But that is what happens sometimes in a hockey fight.
“It’s kinda hard to fight when you can’t see what is going on. I tried to pop my head back out and wasn’t successful and had to reach in with my two hands and try to get something going. I don’t even know what happened because I didn’t see it.
Maybe Lauridsen needed that because he turned in a physical game, trading hits with Steve Ott as the game progressed.
“Obviously, I was trying to get involved,” Lauridsen said. “Those are the kind of guys you want to get under their skin. We kinda succeeded most of the way there.”
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Sabres boss Ron Rolston share something in common: Their defenses are a mess. Buffalo had just five healthy defensemen on Friday.
Hence, the Sabres signed UMass (Lowell) blue-liner Chad Ruhwedel and activated him for his NHL debut to give them a full complement. Ruhwedel played 13 minutes.
Eric Wellwood could miss up to a year recovering from a severed right Achilles tendon, general manager Paul Holmgren said.
Last Sunday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Wellwood, playing for the Phantoms, crashed into the boards and cut his right lower leg with his left skate.
Surgery was this past Thursday.
“It’s a significant injury,” Holmgren said. “His Achilles tendon was 70 percent torn and there are three other tendons that control movement of his foot that were completely severed.
“We’re looking at probably nine months to a year recovery time. I’ll know more in about eight weeks on how the surgery took.”
After missing 10 games with a concussion, Danny Briere returned to play right wing –- not left -– on Brayden Schenn’s line with Scott Hartnell.
Briere played 18:51 with three shots. He also had one off the crossbar with one second left that almost forced overtime in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Sabres.
“The first period, I've got to be honest, I was a little lost at times,” said Briere, who was used to playing on the left side and overshifted to Hartnell’s side by accident.
“Just to get the legs going again. The second and third periods I was starting to feel a lot better around the net. I got a few chances. I couldn't finish. That's been a problem.”
Kurtis Foster dressed for the first time in seven games. This was his 400th NHL game. He logged 11:45 ice time. ... Former Flyer Jim Montgomery, who coined the nickname “Legion of Doom,” was named hockey coach at the University of Denver. Ruslan Fedotenko’s son, Larkin, plays for that college. ... Buffalo is now 3-4-1 in afternoon games. ... The Flyers came into the game with a 0.8 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to SportsClubStats.com. ... Erik Gustafsson had a team-high and career-high 24:21 in ice time, playing alongside Kimmo Timonen. ... The last time the Sabres shut out the Flyers in a regular-season game was Dec. 4, 1998. That was a 3-0 loss in Buffalo in which Eric Lindros was thrown out because of a stick altercation arising from Michael Peca’s head-butting him and then Jay McKee cutting Lindros in the face with his stick. Lindros was fined $1,000 but not suspended.