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Morning Skate | Fogarty to step in for injured Okposo vs. Pens

Lineup notes entering Saturday's game

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Steven Fogarty will step into the lineup for the Sabres against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon, interim head coach Don Granato said. 

Fogarty has three points (1+2) in eight NHL games this season. He will replace Kyle Okposo, who had season-ending surgery to repair a broken bone in his cheek after being hit by a shot on Thursday. 

Okposo had tallied 10 points (2+8) over his last 13 games. 

"It's a loss," Granato said. "… He's a leader. He's helped us as coaches in the transition. He's such a great communicator to us, to the teammates. Everybody looks up to him. So, we definitely lose a big portion of that. He's a guy that's around all the time and I'm sure he'll still be helping us in many respects."

Dustin Tokarski will make his second straight start in goal coming off a 29-save performance against Washington on Thursday, his first NHL victory since 2015. He will be backed up by Michael Houser with Linus Ullmark out week-to-week due to a lower-body injury.

The Sabres reassigned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from the Rochester Americans to the taxi squad, opening the door for the 22-year-old to potentially make his NHL debut against the Penguins on Sunday. Granato said there had been no decision in that regard as of Saturday afternoon.

"I haven't even given a thought as to tomorrow's game," Granato said. "I know it would be tough with Tokarski going tonight to play back-to-back, but that's not out of the question either. … I'm not even thinking that far ahead yet. But he will get in there at some point."


Scouting the Penguins

Pittsburgh added to its top six with the acquisition of veteran forward Jeff Carter from Los Angeles at the deadline. Carter took second-line center duties alongside Jared McCann and Jason Zucker in his debut against Philadelphia on Thursday. (Evgeni Malkin remains out due to injury.) 

Carter, 36, has 19 points (8+11) in 41 games this season. He skated 17:54 and tallied two shots in his first game with the Penguins. 

The Penguins are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and sit in third place in the East Division, three points behind the first-place Capitals. Brian Dumoulin enters Saturday riding a career-best six-game point streak with two goals and four assists in that span.


Tune in 

The game will be televised nationally on NBC beginning at 3 p.m.

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