BUFFALO -- Two days after dropping a 2-0 game to the New York Rangers, the Buffalo Sabres are shaking up their lineup for their game Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Sabres placed forward Patrick Kaleta on waivers in an effort to make room for the return of forward Corey Tropp and to try to help Kaleta save his future.
"This was a move we thought was necessary to help Pat change his game and preserve his career in this League," Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said in a statement to the media. "We believe in Pat as a person and we hope he will continue his career in our organization and, if the circumstances are right, with the Buffalo Sabres."
Tropp is making his first appearance since he injured his jaw in a preseason fight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He'll start the game against Anaheim on a line with Marcus Foligno and captain Steve Ott.
"It's the first time I've ever had the chance to play with [Ott]," Tropp said. "Hopefully we can find some chemistry early and have a good game."
While Tropp jumps into the lineup, forward Mikhail Grigorenko jumps out as a healthy scratch. This will be the third time the 2012 first-round pick has been scratched this season.
Jhonas Enroth was the first goalie off the ice for Buffalo at their optional skate and likely will start in goal.
The Ducks come in playing the seventh game of their eight-game road trip. With the finish line in sight Monday night against the Rangers, they're not slowing things down. Jonas Hiller will make his third straight start and he's looking to bounce back after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
A Western Conference team losing to an Eastern Conference team has been a rarity this season. Going into the games Saturday, the West holds a 55-24-9 record against the East.
"You look on paper and all the teams seem equal," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When I was in the East, I thought the East was better. It's been surprising the way the games have gone as far as the numbers of wins to losses. That surprises me because there are a lot of good teams in the East."
The Sabres are 0-5-0 against Western Conference teams this season and have been outscored 15-7 in those games. The Ducks are 5-2-1 against the Eastern Conference.
Here are the projected lineups for the Ducks and Sabres:
Patrick Maroon – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Dustin Penner – Mathieu Perreault – Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrew Cogliano – Nick Bonino – Kyle Palmieri
Daniel Winnik – Peter Holland – Emerson Etem
Hampus Lindholm – Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Bryan Allen – Sami Vatanen
Scratched: Mark Fistric
Injured: Teemu Selanne (jaw), Saku Koivu (upper body), Matt Beleskey (upper body), Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand), Luca Sbisa (ankle), Viktor Fasth (lower body), Sheldon Souray (wrist)
Matt Moulson – Cody Hodgson – Tyler Ennis
Steve Ott – Marcus Foligno – Corey Tropp
Zemgus Girgensons – Johan Larsson – Brian Flynn
Ville Leino – Cody McCormick – Drew Stafford
Tyler Ennis – Nikita Zadorov
Christian Ehrhoff – Mark Pysyk
Rasmus Ristolainen – Henrik Tallinder
Scratched: Jamie McBain, Mikhail Grigorenko, John Scott (suspended)
Injured: Mike Weber (thumb), Joel Armia (broken hand)