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NHL Roundup: Sabres fire Ruff, Ducks reward goalie Fasth

The SportsXchange

A rough start this season by the Buffalo Sabres led to Wednesday's firing of longtime coach Lindy Ruff.

Ruff, 53, was the longest-tenured active coach in the NHL, having been hired in July 1997, and the second-longest serving coach with one team in North America after Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

The Sabres confirmed Ruff's dismissal Wednesday via Twitter. He met briefly with reporters, saying "it isn't working out the way we're going."

Buffalo is 6-10-1 record in the strike-shortened season and 3-7-0 in its past 10 games Under Ruff, the Sabres reached the conference finals four times and the Stanley Cup Finals in 1999 but have missed the playoffs three of the past five years.

The team has not announced a replacement. The Sabres' next game is Thursday night against Toronto.

---A fast start has resulted in a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension for Anaheim rookie goaltender Viktor Fasth, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fasth, 30, hasn't lost a game he has started this season (8-0-0), according to the Los Angeles Times.

Fasth is the third goalie to win eight or more games without a loss at the start of an NHL career, joining Ram Emery of Ottawa (2003-05) and Bob Froese of Philadelphia (1982-83). Fasth's eight victories also are tied for the league lead.

Fasth, who twice won the Honken Trophy as the outstanding goalie in Sweden, came to the Ducks with expectations to back up Jonas Hillar this season, only to emerge as one of the surprises of the strike-shortened season.

---Detroit forward Mikael Samuelsson will miss at least two weeks after breaking a finger on his left hand in practice. General manager Ken Holland confirmed the injury, which is a non-displaced fracture, to the Detroit Free-Press.

The 36-year-old veteran was hit by a puck with a shot from teammate Ian White during the Red Wings' morning skate Tuesday in Nashville. He did not play in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Predators.

Samuelsson had just returned from a groin injury. He has played in only three of the Detroit's 16 games this season.

Also on the Red Wings' injury list is goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has been bothered by blurred vision. He left Tuesday night's game after giving up two goals on seven shots in 11 minutes. His return is uncertain.
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