Pirates’ Gragnani injured in Sabres training camp

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani will miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee. Gragnani has played 142 games with the Portland Pirates and four for the Sabres in the last two years.

Coach Lindy Ruff provided the update Saturday a day after Gragnani was hurt in a rookie scrimmage. Ruff didn’t say which knee was injured, but noted it won’t require surgery.

Gragnani, the Sabres’ third-round pick in the 2005 draft, was expected to compete for a regular job with the team this season. He’s previously appeared in six career games with Buffalo, but has yet to score a point.

Find that fast-forward button and press it down hard. The Washington Capitals already know how to handle the regular season; it’s the playoffs that have become their bugaboo.

So, even though it was a mild September morning Saturday as the Capitals gathered at their rink atop a suburban shopping mall for the first day of training camp, the players couldn’t help but think of the high-intensity games they’ll surely be playing at the downtown Verizon Center in April.

“Let’s start ’em tomorrow,” defenseman Tom Poti said.

Too bad the Capitals can’t do just that — skip the 82-game grind and get straight to the heart of the matter. They accumulated an NHL-high 121 points last season and could be even better this season as their young talent matures, but their three straight Southeast Division titles have translated into just one series victory in the postseason. They’ve once again become the team of spring heartache, just as they were for much of the 1980s and 1990s.

QMJHL: Emirk Guillemette scored with 6.7 seconds left in the third period to tie the game, then Chicoutimi won 5-4 over the Lewiston Maineiacs in the shootout Saturday afternoon at Lewiston.

Matthew Bissonnette scored a power-play goal in the first period to give the Maineiacs an early lead. The Sagueneens scored a pair in the first, one from former Maineiac Billy Lacasse and another from Guillaume Asselin. Second-period goals by Francis Beauvillier and Stefan Fournier regained the lead for Lewiston.

Billy Lacasse brought his squad even once again with his second score. Midway through the third period, Lewiston retook the lead. With Beauvillier in the penalty box, Etienne Brodeur scored on a shorthanded breakaway.

In the shootout. Guillaume Asselin and Rock Regimbald both scored for Chicoutimi, while Antoine Houde-Caron and Francis Beauvillier came up empty for Lewiston.

Christopher Gibson got the win for the Sagueneens, making 15 saves before a 2-for-2 effort in the shootout.