BUFFALO -- Jason Pominville's return to his former home to play against his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, will get all the attention Monday, but both teams have some notable moves to be made in their lineups.
One player returning for Buffalo is defenseman Henrik Tallinder, and he offered a unique perspective on Pominville's return to Buffalo as an opponent.
"I think we all go through it at some point in our career," Tallinder said. "I think it's more him getting back to his old building where he has played for so many years. I remember when I got back here [as a member of the New Jersey Devils], it's always like a boost or you get a little bit more jacked up because it's your old building.
"He's a good player, he's a great player. It's always going tough to play against him, but after you practice against him for so long you learn his weakness and what his strong suit is," Tallinder said with a smile.
Tallinder missed the last four games with an injury and was paired up with Tyler Myers during the morning skate. It seems likely they'll be back together again Monday. The Sabres will have to make room on their roster to add Tallinder and either Alexander Sulzer or Rasmus Ristolainen is likely to be sent down. Mike Weber will be back in after being a healthy scratch during the game Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
For the Minnesota Wild, their question centered on who would be backing up starting goalie Josh Harding. Coach Mike Yeo said Darcy Kuemper would be called up while Niklas Backstrom deals with an injury. Backstrom worked during the morning skate but will not dress.
The Sabres are looking for their first win of the year and one thing they've yet to do is score the first goal of the game. Coach Ron Rolston says getting out quickly is key.
"We haven't had a lead the whole season so far," Rolston said. "It's important in this League, period, no matter if it's us or any other team, to get on top and have good starts and get that first goal."
As for Monday's possible lines, here's what we may see:
Steve Ott – Cody Hodgson – Thomas Vanek
Marcus Foligno – Tyler Ennis – Drew Stafford
Zemgus Girgensons – Mikhail Grigorenko – Brian Flynn
Kevin Porter – Johan Larsson – Cody McCormick
Henrik Tallinder – Tyler Myers
Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Pysyk
Mike Weber – Jamie McBain
Scratched: Alexander Sulzer, Rasmus Ristolainen, John Scott
Injured: Ville Leino (cracked rib)
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Nino Niederreiter
Dany Heatley – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Justin Fontaine – Kyle Brodziak – Matt Cooke
Stephane Veilleux – Zenon Konopka – Torrey Mitchell
Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Keith Ballard – Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner – Mathew Dumba
Scratched: Marco Scandella, Nate Prosser
Injured: Mike Rupp