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At the Rink: Blackhawks at Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will get forward Tyler Ennis back in the lineup when they face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, WGN, MSG-B).

Ennis missed the past 12 games because of an upper-body injury and will start at right wing on with left wing Evander Kane and center Jack Eichel.

"I'm more keeping an eye on Tyler," Sabres (14-16-3) coach Dan Bylsma said. "He hasn't skated a ton with the team. He's a guy who can play a lot of minutes and is able to do that, but there may be some spot duty at times just keeping an eye on his minutes and situations he's in. I'm certainly going to look to get him on the power play and help us in that regard."

The Sabres opened a roster spot for Ennis when forward Cal O'Reilly was sent to Rochester of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Sabres forward Matt Moulson hasn't scored a goal in 21 games and will start on the fourth line with David Legwand and Nicolas Deslauriers. His last goal came against the New York Islanders on Nov. 1.

"On the power play in the last two, three games he's been in that area, he's had a couple scoring chances on the power-play situations; not as much 5-on-5," Bylsma said. "And a big part of that is being able to bring the puck up the ice and get out of the defensive zone with it. That's really an area where he's got to improve. Because if you can't get it up the ice, you're not going to get where he is good."

Chad Johnson will make his second consecutive start in goal for the Sabres. He made 44 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

The Blackhawks (18-11-4) have won five of their past seven games (5-2-0), but will be without forward Marcus Kruger for the next four months after he had surgery Friday to repair a dislocated left wrist. Kruger was injured Thursday in a 4-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers.

Chicago recalled Phillip Danault from Rockford of the American Hockey League to take his place.

"We've used [Kruger] in a lot of ways," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's a very useful player with the penalty killing, important faceoffs, defensive responsibilities in the last minute of periods or games protecting leads. We called up Phil Danault; we feel he's a comparable player as far as his projection and what we want him to be one day and now he has to be a quick study. So we'll see how he does."

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks.

Here are the projected lineups:


Teuvo Teravainen - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Dennis Rasmussen - Andrew Shaw

Andrew Desjardins - Phillip Danault - Ryan Garbutt

Duncan Keith - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Niklas Hjalmarsson - Brent Seabrook

Rob Scuderi - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Injured: Marcus Kruger (dislocated wrist)

Scratched: Brandon Mashinter, David Rundblad


Jamie McGinn - Ryan O'Reilly - Sam Reinhart

Evander Kane - Jack Eichel - Tyler Ennis

Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta

Matt Moulson - David Legwand - Nicolas Deslauriers

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian

Mike Weber - Cody Franson

Chad Johnson

Linus Ullmark

Injured: Marcus Foligno (upper body), Mark Pysyk (lower body), Robin Lehner (ankle), Cody McCormick (blood clot)

Scratched: Carlo Colaiacovo

Status report: With the afternoon start, neither the Blackhawks nor the Sabres skated in the morning. Lineups will be game-time decisions.

Who's Hot: Patrick Kane has points in 27 of the past 28 games. … Ryan O'Reilly has 11 points in the past 10 games. … Ristolainen has six points in the past five games.

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