Tyler Ennis will make his return to the Buffalo Sabres' lineup on Saturday afternoon as they take on the reigning Stanley Cup champions at First Niagara Center.
No, the Sabres don't have to worry about putting an end to Patrick Kane's 26-game point streak; the Colorado Avalanche took care of that on Tuesday night. But that doesn't make the Chicago Blackhawks any less of a challenge.
"That is the challenge with the Blackhawks," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "Their top two lines, they have a ton of skill, a ton of possession in [Teuvo] Teravainen, Kane, [Marian] Hossa they've added to the mix and a lot of speed and skill, a lot of creativity.
"Their defensemen are a part of that offensive equation [too], the way they rush in the offensive zone - it's maybe unlike any other team how they possess the puck and how they use everybody as an offensive threat."
Coverage of the 1 p.m. game on Saturday begins at 12:30 p.m. with Tops Sabres Gamenight on MSG-B and Bell TV. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.
Chad Johnson will start in net for Buffalo following a 44-save shutout against Anaheim on Thursday night. The Sabres have won three of their last four contests dating back to a 2-1 win over the L.A. Kings last Saturday.
The major difference from those four games to this one is Ennis' presence in the lineup. The forward has missed 12 games since Nov. 25 with an upper-body injury. He'll reclaim his spot as a top-six forward for the Sabres, playing the right wing on a line with Evander Kane and Jack Eichel.
"He hasn't skated a ton with the team; he's a guy who can play a lot of minutes and has been able to do that," Bylsma said. "But there may be some spontaneity at times just keeping an eye on his minutes and the situations he's in and we're certainly going to look to get him on the power play and help us in that regard [too]."
88 Jamie McGinn – 90 Ryan O'Reilly – 23 Sam Reinhart
9 Evander Kane – 15 Jack Eichel – 63 Tyler Ennis
28 Zemgus Girgensons – 22 Johan Larsson – 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 17 David Legwand – 26 Matt Moulson
4 Josh Gorges – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe – 47 Zach Bogosian
6 Mike Weber – 46 Cody Franson
31 Chad Johnson
35 Linus Ullmark