Buffalo's roster shakeup started in earnest Tuesday when rookies Rasmus Ristolainen and Johan Larsson were assigned to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and Nikita Zadorov was returned to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Sabres planned to send Mikhail Grigorenko to the AHL for a conditioning assignment, but it was rejected by the NHL so Grigorenko will be back in the lineup Thursday as the Sabres take on the Philadelphia Flyers.
He'll be joined by Luke Adam and Brayden McNabb, both of whom have previous NHL experience but will be making their season debuts for Buffalo on Thursday. Adam made his mark with the Sabres in 2011-12 when he had 10 goals and 20 points in 52 games, but played four games last season.
"It's something I really focused on throughout this year, controlling what I could and not worrying about what anybody else thought," Adam said after the morning skate. "It helped me a lot, I think. I'm going to continue to do that and continue to work and get better at my game."
Adam led the Americans this season with 18 points in 15 games and was tied for the AHL lead with 13 goals when he was called up by the Sabres.
"The guys really welcomed them on the ice [Wednesday]," Nolan said. "There's not many words you can say. Just go out there and do the things that got you here."
"I think early on we were tight in third periods and now I believe we know we can win the game and we go out and try to win it," Berube said.
Here are the projected lineups for the Sabres and Flyers on Thursday: