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Oft-injured Sabres centre Connolly misses season opener with sore back

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Tim Connolly missed the Sabres’ season-opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday because of a back injury, opening this season where the injury-plagued centre ended the last.

The play-making forward registered an assist in one pre-season game, but had been bothered by a sore back for most of the past week. He missed 34 games last season, including the final 12, after having surgery to remove bone chips from his hip. And Connolly has appeared in only 50 games over the past two seasons as a result of injuries.

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The Canadiens, who opened their 100th season, were minus forwards Christopher Higgins (groin) and Georges Laraque (groin) and defenceman Francis Bouillon (knee).