BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will scratch Sam Reinhart, the second pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, on Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
Reinhart has played in the Sabres first five games and has no points. He’s played the past two games on the fourth line after he played on the third line in the first three.
“It’s one of those things. He’s a young player that’s still learning,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “So we’ll let him watch a game and let’s see how he comes from that.”
Reinhart has averaged 10:26 of ice time in five games and has two shots on goal. Brian Flynn will take his place in the lineup.
“You ask any first year player, a first couple [years] player, they all go through it,” Nolan said. “They’ve got to watch. Sometimes you learn a lot more by watching than playing sometimes. It’s still early in his development. We tried to force-feed it right at the beginning. We tried putting him with a lot of minutes on the top lines, then we backed off a little bit. Now this is another way to try and get his game going.”
The Sabres will go with Jhonas Enroth against the Bruins. Enroth stopped 34 shots on Friday in a 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.
“That’s one bright spot. Jhonas has been playing great for us,” Nolan said. “Sometimes goalies get on a roll and you let them roll, so he’ll go right back in [Saturday].”
The Bruins will start forward Simon Gagne on the first line in his third game with the team. Gagne has played at times through his first two games on the first line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci, but hasn’t started a game there.
“I'm pretty excited,” Gagne said. “I thought that both games that Claude [Julien] put us together late in the third, we created some scoring chances. Hopefully we'll be able to do it for 60 minutes. Sometimes it's easy to do it for maybe four, five shifts. As a line you want to find chemistry and you want to play well for 60 minutes. I'm looking forward to it tonight and try to take advantage of it.”
Lucic apologized for his actions against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Lucic was fined $5,000 on Friday for an obscene gesture delivered to the fans late in the Canadiens 6-4 victory.
“I’m not proud of what I did there and I want to apologize for embarrassing the Bruins organization,” Lucic said. “I also want to apologize to our fans also apologize to the Montreal Canadiens organization and to the Canadiens fans. I know they can get under your skin sometimes, but they are great fans. Apologies for my actions, I regret what I did.”
Niklas Svedberg was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate and will likely make his second career NHL start.
Here are the projected lineups:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Simon Gagne
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly – Carl Soderberg – Loui Eriksson
Matt Fraser – Gregory Campbell – Daniel Paille
Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
Scratched: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Spooner, Seth Griffith
Matt Moulson – Tyler Ennis – Drew Stafford
Marcus Foligno – Cody Hodgson – Chris Stewart
Torrey Mitchell – Zemgus Girgensons – Brian Gionta
Nic Deslauriers – Brian Flynn – Cody McCormick
Josh Gorges – Tyler Myers
Andre Benoit – Andrej Meszaros
Rasmus Ristolainen – Mike Weber
Scratched: Sam Reinhart, Tyson Strachan, Nikita Zadorov
Injured: Patrick Kaleta (jaw)
Status report: Nolan said he’ll shuffle some of his lines around along with swapping out Reinhart for Flynn. The Sabres held an optional morning skate after playing Friday so any line changes won’t be known until warmups. The Bruins will go with Matt Fraser on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch the past three games.
Who’s hot: Bruins forward David Krejci has given an offensive boost to the lineup since returning from a lower-body injury. He has a goal and two assists in three games. Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson each have two goals this season. Enroth had 34 saves Friday against the Panthers, and leads the NHL in shots faced with 147 in four games. He is also tied for the League lead with 132 saves.