After sitting out the Buffalo Sabres' 4-3 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday with an injury, forward Marcus Foligno will be back in the lineup in time to play against his brother Nick as the Columbus Blue Jackets visit First Niagara Center.
Marcus Foligno and Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder returned to practice Friday and participated in Buffalo's optional skate Saturday, although Taliinder remains out with an upper-body injury that has kept him out of the past six games.
Marcus Foligno would not share the nature of his injury but admitted that it is something he has been dealing with for a while.
"Just a recurring injury that got pinched in the game against Philly [Jan. 14]," Foligno said after skating Friday. "It's all better now. The trainers looked after me. Just something I needed to rest. It's never going to go away until the summertime. It's just something I've got to keep a close eye on."
Injured forwards Kevin Porter and Cody McCormick also participated in Buffalo's optional skate Saturday but wore red non-contact jerseys and aren't expected back just yet.
Ryan Miller will start in net for the Sabres. Defenseman Alexander Sulzer and forward Linus Omark will be healthy scratches.
Omark has one assist in nine games with Buffalo since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 19. But Sabres coach Ted Nolan made a point to mention that the decision to scratch Omark was not based solely on his production.
"Right now he's got to be patient. It has nothing to do so much with him right now. We played well last game so we're keeping the same lineup," said Nolan, who potentially could find a spot on Buffalo's top two lines for the 5-foot-10 forward. "That's where he plays. You put him with John Scott or [Matt] Ellis, it doesn’t make too much sense. They bring a different element to our game. Omark is not one of those guys."
Columbus did not have a morning skate Saturday after winning 5-1 at home Friday against the Washington Capitals. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin missed that game with an illness but could return to the lineup in Buffalo. The Blue Jackets will continue to ride the hot hand of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who will start in Buffalo and has gone 4-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average since returning Jan. 6 from a groin injury.
Here are the projected lineups for the Blue Jackets and Sabres:
Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - R.J. Umberger
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner - Artem Anisimov - Nathan Horton
Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp
James Wisniewski - Ryan Murray
Jack Johnson - Dalton Prout
Nikita Nikitin - David Savard
Injured: Marian Gaborik (collarbone), Jared Boll (foot), Jack Skille (upper body), Fedor Tyutin (illness)
Matt Moulson - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford
Steve Ott - Cody Hodgson - Ville Leino
Marcus Foligno - Brian Flynn - Zemgus Girgensons
John Scott - Zenon Konopka - Matt Ellis
Christian Ehrhoff - Mark Pysyk
Mike Weber - Tyler Myers
Brayden McNabb - Jamie McBain
Scratched: Linus Omark, Alexander Sulzer
Injured: Matt D'Agostini (upper body), Cody McCormick (upper body), Kevin Porter (lower body), Henrik Tallinder (upper body)