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Penguins at Sabres preview

Malkin game-time decision for Pittsburgh; Bogosian to make season debut for Buffalo

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

PENGUINS (13-10-3) at SABRES (6-15-4)



The Game

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will be a game-time decision to return to the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center for the first game of a home-and-home set.

Malkin skated again Friday morning after going through a full practice Thursday. Coach Mike Sullivan said a decision will come closer to game time but said Malkin "looks pretty strong right now." Malkin has missed the past four games because of an upper-body injury.

Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian will make his season debut. He sustained a lower-body injury during a preseason game against the New York Islanders on Sept. 29.


Players to watch

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 19 career games against the Sabres in Buffalo.

Sabres left wing Evander Kane has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past 15 games against the Penguins.


They said it

"They're going to focus on the process, they're going to try to stop the puck, they're going to try to come to the rink every day and do everything within their power to improve and get better, and when the games come and they're called upon to play in the games, our expectation is they make the timely save for us to give us an opportunity to win games." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on going with rookie goalies Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith while starter Matt Murray is injured

"I think with [Bogosian], he's such an energetic person and player and having him just come in the lineup, it's just going to add an extra spark. We've had a lot of injuries on the back end to start the season so it's been difficult, but the band's kind of getting back together like we started with and me and [Bogosian] had a lot of chemistry in preseason." -- Sabres defenseman Nathan Beaulieu on the return of defenseman Zach Bogosian


Penguins projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Sidney Crosby -- Patric Hornqvist

Jake Guentzel -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Riley Sheahan -- Bryan Rust

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Carter Rowney -- Ryan Reaves

Brian Dumoulin -- Kris Letang

Olli Maatta -- Matt Hunwick

Ian Cole -- Justin Schultz

Tristan Jarry

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Greg McKegg, Chad Ruhwedel, Josh Archibald

Injured: Matt Murray (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jordan Nolan -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Benoit Pouliot -- Kyle Criscuolo -- Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Matt Moulson

Marco Scandella -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Nathan Beaulieu -- Zach Bogosian

Jake McCabe -- Victor Antipin

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Josh Gorges, Justin Falk

Injured: Jacob Josefson (ankle), Taylor Fedun (lower body)


Status update

Crosby and Kessel did not take part in the morning skate but are expected to play. … The Sabres sent defenseman Matt Tennyson to Rochester of the American Hockey League Friday after he cleared waivers.


Stat pack

The Penguins are 12-0-1 against the Sabres, dating to Oct. 5, 2013. … The Sabres have been shut out in back-to-back games and have not scored a goal in the past 120:51. Girgensons will play his 300th NHL game.

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