BUFFALO – Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark will make his NHL debut against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (7 p.m, ET; MSG+, MSG-B, BELL TV).
Ullmark was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Friday and will play in his fourth game in North America since coming over from Sweden in the offseason. Ullmark was a sixth-round pick of the Sabres (2-5-0) in the 2012 NHL Draft and has played for MODO of the Swedish Hockey League the past four seasons.
"You're always nervous for your first game," Ullmark said. "I just think what I did in Sweden helped me a lot here. Now we're just going to take a few more steps to be able to try to win these games as much as possible."
In three starts with Rochester, Ullmark is 1-2-0 with a .937 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average. He starts in place of Chad Johnson who allowed each goal in a 7-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
"We called him up so he could get an opportunity to play," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "Whether that was tonight, last night, or later on in the week he was going to get a chance to play, so tonight's it."
Ullmark won the Honken Trophy in 2013-14 given to the best goalie in the Swedish Hockey League.
"He's played pro hockey," Bylsma said. "He hasn't played in North America, so getting in three games and playing in a smaller rink was big; big for him and big for him to get tested in that way in a smaller rink in the North American game. So those three games he's played are big for him and his development. But he has played pro hockey and more experience than just a rookie, per se, goalie coming out of junior or college hockey."
The Devils (3-3-1) have had four straight games go past regulation and have won three straight.
"We've just been battling; start to finish," Devils forward Adam Henrique said. "We turned things around a few games ago. Everybody's buying in playing hard from start to finish no matter if we're up one or two or down one or two. We've had some moments in games where guys have stepped up and turned the tide for us and maybe gave us some momentum. We've had some fights which kind of turned the momentum back in our favor and resulted in big wins. We've got to find a way to keep that going tonight."
Cory Schneider will start in net. In the past four games, he is 3-0-1 with a .933 save percentage.
"He's the guy that settles things down for us," Devils coach John Hynes said. "He's an extremely competitive player and he's come up big for us. Any time you're able to win games, you have to have good goaltending and we've certainly had that from both Cory and Keith [Kinkaid]."
Here are the projected lineups:
Mike Cammalleri – Adam Henrique – Lee Stempniak
Jiri Tlusty – Travis Zajac – Kyle Palmieri
Brian O'Neill – Jacob Josefson – Jordin Tootoo
Stefan Matteau – Sergey Kalinin – Stephen Gionta
Andy Greene – Adam Larsson
John Moore – Damon Severson
Eric Gelinas – David Schlemko
Injured: Patrik Elias (knee), Tuomo Ruutu (lower body)
Scratched: Jon Merrill
Evander Kane – Ryan O'Reilly – Sam Reinhart
Tyler Ennis – Jack Eichel – Brian Gionta
Matt Moulson – Zemgus Girgensons – Marcus Foligno
Nicolas Deslauriers – Johan Larsson – Jamie McGinn
Josh Gorges – Rasmus Ristolainen
Mike Weber – Cody Franson
Jake McCabe – Mark Pysyk
Injured: Robin Lehner (ankle), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Cody McCormick (blood clot)
Scratched: Carlo Colaiacovo, David Legwand
Status Update: Bylsma said his lineup would be a game-time decision. Legwand and Colaiacovo
were healthy scratches against Montreal on Friday.
Who's Hot: Cammalleri has a goal and four assists in the past three games. … Zajac has two goals and two assists the past two games. Stempniak has two goals and two assists in the past four games… Reinhart has a goal and an assist in the past three games.