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Oilers bring Pitlick back; Sabres to start Hackett

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- There will be plenty of new faces on display when the Edmonton Oilers host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

With each team having sustained a rash of injuries, reinforcements have been called up to fill vacant roster spots.

The Oilers recalled right wing Tyler Pitlick and left wing Steve MacIntyre from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League for the game. They already have defenseman Oscar Klefbom and left wing Anton Lander up from their AHL affiliate.

Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle is out with a knee injury and left wing Matt Hendricks will be a game-time decision after stepping in front of a shot from Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber on Tuesday.

Pitlick made his Oilers debut Oct. 19 against the Ottawa Senators. He went on to play three games, scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens before sustaining a knee injury later in the game.

Pitlick was out for six weeks before being sent back to Oklahoma City.

"It's nice to be back and getting another shot," Pitlick said. "I thought I was playing well and playing simple [in first call up] and it was nice to get that goal, it was good to get that first one out of the way, and then a few shifts later I got hurt. But it is what it is. I'm back and I'm ready to go again."

MacIntyre also missed significant time with a knee injury, sustained in a preseason game against the Dallas Stars. He will be a game-time decision as well, depending on Hendricks' status.

The Sabres are in a similar situation.

With its lineup depleted by trades and injuries, Buffalo heads into the game with an inexperienced group having lost seven straight.

Goaltender Matt Hackett will make his season debut for the Sabres. He's spent the entire season with the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Hackett is the fifth goaltender to play for the Sabres this season.

Goalie Ben Scrivens will start for Edmonton.

"It's exciting," Hackett said. "I had an opportunity with Minnesota to play a few games so I know what to expect a bit. It's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it."

Sabres left wing Ville Leino, still looking for his first goal of the season, will be a healthy scratch; he'll be replaced by center Zenon Konopka.

"He [Leino] has to be better," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "Going forward here we have to make sure the people in the lineup are giving all they can give. If they don't give what they can give we'll make changes."

Here are the expected lineups for the Sabres and Oilers:


Marcus Foligno - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford

Cory Conacher - Cody Hodgson - Torrey Mitchell

Nicolas Deslauriers - Brian Flynn - Matt D'Agostini

John Scott - Zenon Konopka - Matt Ellis

Chad Ruhwedel - Christian Ehrhoff

Rasmus Ristolainen - Henrik Tallinder

Mike Weber - Jamie McBain

Matt Hackett

Nathan Lieuwen

Scratched: Ville Leino

Injured: Jhonas Enroth (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Tyler Myers (elbow), Alexander Sulzer (upper body), Chris Stewart (ankle), Zemgus Girgensons (lower body).


Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Anton Lander - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Tyler Pitlick

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Ryan Smyth

Luke Gazdic - Steve MacIntyre - Ryan Jones

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Oscar Klefbom - Andrew Ference

Mark Fraser - Justin Schultz

Ben Scrivens

Viktor Fasth

Scratched: Philip Larsen

Injured: Anton Belov (oblique), Jesse Joensuu (ankle), Nail Yakupov (ankle), Jordan Eberle (knee)

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