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At the Rink: Devils at Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The New Jersey Devils will have Adam Henrique back in the lineup when the face the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, MSG-B, BELL TV).

Henrique practiced with the Devils on Monday, skated again Tuesday and will rejoin the first line as they look to bounce back from a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday. He missed the past two games with a lower-body injury.

"I don't put any extra pressure on myself (to come back from injury)," Henrique said. "I think with anybody, any time there's an injury you want to make sure you're healthy and 100 percent coming back. Obviously at different times, different scenarios come up, but I'm back to 100 percent and it'll be nice to be back out there tonight."

Henrique's 13 goals ties him for the Devils lead with Kyle Palmieri and his 23 points have him second with Palmieri and Lee Stempniak behind only Mike Cammalleri (30). Henrique will center Cammalleri and Stempniak. Perhaps not coincidentally, Cammalleri has gone without a point in the past three games, two of which were without Henrique.

"I would say [Henrique's absence] is part of it," Devils coach John Hynes said. "I think Michael's played some good games, but collectively as a group … the Detroit game we played well, but we didn't really have a lot of chances to score goals against the Islanders. So I think it's a combination of team play and a different combination of line play too."

With Henrique back, forward Stefan Matteau will be scratched. Rookie forward Joseph Blandisi will move to left wing on a line with Jacob Josefson and Palmieri and Jiri Tlusty will play left wing on a line with Stephen Gionta and Jordin Tootoo. Cory Schneider will start in goal.

The Sabres had an optional skate Tuesday following their 2-1 win Monday at the Detroit Red Wings. Center Ryan O'Reilly extended his point streak to eight games when he scored the tying goal in the third period. He has four goals and seven assists during the streak. O'Reilly also scored the game-winning goal in overtime Saturday in a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

"As a coach, I lean on Ryan and his line in a lot of tough situations and playing them in a lot of tough minutes," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "Sometimes that's going to mean he's not going to have enough energy at the other end of the rink to work for offense and get offense. Last game was an example of that. We're on the road and have some tough matchups. He's starting in the [defensive] zone an awful lot playing against their top players, and he's the guy in the third period that's pushing and imploring the team to dig down and reach down for it, and he's the one who comes up [with the goal]."

Linus Ullmark will start in goal for the Sabres.

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike CammalleriAdam HenriqueLee Stempniak

Joseph BlandisiJacob JosefsonKyle Palmieri

Patrik EliasSergey KalininTyler Kennedy

Jiri TlustyStephen GiontaJordin Tootoo

Andy GreeneAdam Larsson

John MooreDamon Severson

Jon MerrillDavid Schlemko

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Travis Zajac (upper body), Tuomo Ruutu (right foot fracture), Bobby Farnham (upper body)

Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Brian O'Neill, Stefan Matteau


Jamie McGinnRyan O'ReillySam Reinhart

Matt MoulsonJack EichelEvander Kane

Zemgus GirgensonsJohan LarssonBrian Gionta

Nicolas DeslauriersDavid LegwandMarcus Foligno

Josh GorgesRasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabeZach Bogosian

Mike WeberCody Franson

Linus Ullmark

Chad Johnson

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

Scratched: Cal O'Reilly, Carlo Colaiacovo

Status update: Cal O'Reilly will skate in warmups. He has yet to play in a game with the Sabres since he was recalled on Dec. 5.

Who's hot: Ryan O'Reilly has scored a goal in two straight games. Ristolainen has three goals and two assists in the past three games and has a two-game assist streak.

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