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Nilsson gets the start as trip concludes in Anaheim

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

ANAHEIM - Anders Nilsson will get the nod in net for the Buffalo Sabres when they conclude their three-game California road trip tonight against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. It will be the first start for Nilsson since he was pulled after surrendering three goals on 12 shots in the first period against Columbus last Saturday, a game the Sabres came back to win 5-3.

"It's a little bit of a bounce-back game for Anders getting into the net," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "He's been, for the most part, real solid when he's gotten his opportunity in net for us. Unfortunately that wasn't the way it was in the last time out but, again, just looking for him to get in there, be solid for us, make the necessary save and give us a chance to win."

The Sabres are looking to leave California on a high note after losing their first two games of the trip, including a 2-0 shutout in Los Angeles on Thursday night. On the road this season, Buffalo is 11-19-6 compared to 17-12-6 at home.

"We haven't been able to get run support for our goaltender, get the necessary goals to win hockey games," Bylsma said. "Having said that, we also haven't done a good job of playing a simple road game, a hard road game where you have the lead and been able to close game out."

Beyond Nilsson, Bylsma left the rest of his lineup as a game-time announcement. Hudson Fasching entered the lineup in place of Justin Bailey on Thursday and skated 12:29, during which he joined Evan Rodrigues and Marcus Foligno to form one of Buffalo's most consistent lines in the offensive zone.

The Ducks, who have won four of their last five games, are expected to start Jonathan Bernier in net. 

Coverage on Friday begins at 9:30 p.m. with the Tops Pregame Show on MSG-B, or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops between the Sabres and Ducks at 10 p.m.

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