BUFFALO – The Buffalo Sabres will have defenseman Zach Bogosian in the lineup for the first time this season when they host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Bogosian will be paired up with Jake McCabe.
"I told him to run a few miles this afternoon to tire himself out," coach Dan Bylsma said. "If he can somehow kind of control himself, control his emotions, he hasn't played a game since April. He's pretty ramped up to play. He's such a great skater. My worry is more of him being too rambunctious than not being able to keep up."
Bogosian missed most of training camp and the start of the season with a lower-body injury. Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will likely be scratched for Bogosian to return to the lineup.
"I haven't played a game since April, obviously a lot of things factor into that," Bogosian said. "Conditioning is one, timing is another. It's something you try to keep a close eye on those and play the game that's in front of you. You don't try to do too much right away, you keep things simple."
Although the Sabres get Bogosian back, they will be without forward Zemgus Girgensons against Dallas. Girgensons is out with an upper-body injury after he took a big hit from San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on Saturday. Girgensons missed some time during the game, but returned to finish.
Forward Tim Schaller will take Girgensons' spot on the third line.
"I think we're pretty similar," Schaller said about replacing Girgensons. "If I can get my feet moving, maybe I can get a couple guys wide and what not. End of the day, I think I'm just playing heavy and moving my feet."
Goalie Linus Ullmark will start for Buffalo.
The Stars are winners of five of their past six games and will have Patrick Eaves back against the Sabres. Eaves hasn't played since Oct. 13 because of a lower-body injury.
Eaves will play on a line with Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark.
"[Eaves] is another guy with a great shot, but he's got a great two-way game," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Patty plays the game the right way, knows where to be, and we're going to use him a little bit on special teams. He's champing at the bit to get back in here for us."
The Stars are the best team in the Western Conference and have scored a NHL-best 3.6 goals per-game. At 14-4-0, they are off to the best start in their history.
"We're happy with our start, but our division is so tight we still don't have much room for error," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We need to just take it one game at a time. Tonight's Buffalo and that's what we're going to focus on."
Goalie Antti Niemi will start for Dallas.
Here are the projected lineups:
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Patrick Eaves
Colton Sceviour – Vernon Fiddler – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jordie Benn
Injured: Travis Moen (upper body)
Scratched: Jamie Oleksiak
Matt Moulson – Ryan O'Reilly – Brian Gionta
Johan Larsson – Jack Eichel – Tyler Ennis
Marcus Foligno – Tim Schaller – Sam Reinhart
Jamie McGinn – David Legwand – Nicolas Deslauriers
Josh Gorges – Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe – Zach Bogosian
Mark Pysyk – Cody Franson
Injured: Zemgus Girgensons (upper body), Mike Weber (knee), Evander Kane (knee), Robin Lehner (ankle), Cody McCormick (blood clot)
Scratched: Carlo Colaiacovo
Status report: Although Colaiacovo is expected to be scratched, he skated with Franson on Tuesday and Pysyk did not skate with a partner. The final decision will come in warm-ups.
Who's hot: Sharp has three goals and three assists in his past six games. Klingberg has two goals and three assists, Jamie Benn has two goals and two assists, and Seguin has three assists in the past two games… Ristolainen has three goals and three assists in his past six games and has a two-game assists streak.