BROOKLYN - For everything their fourth line brought for the Sabres against Montreal on Thursday night, one thing Phil Housley would like to see more from his team is secondary scoring. They'll look to get that on Saturday by adding Matt Moulson into the mix against the New York Islanders.
Moulson will make his season debut against his former team on a line with Johan Larsson and Jacob Josefson, replacing Jordan Nolan in the lineup. That trio created momentum on the forecheck on multiple occasions in the season opener on Thursday.
"They had a couple of good shifts, not only in the first but in the third period that sort of started our momentum," Housley said. "They've got to continue to do that. They're workhorses, they're smart players, they get some opportunities but we'd like to see some more goals.
"I think Matt is a true goal scorer. He can bury the puck and hopefully he can bring that."
Video: BUF at NYI Preview (10/7/17)
The Islanders are coming off of a 5-0 loss in their season opener in Columbus on Friday night. They were outshot 37-29 in that game, and goalie Thomas Greiss was chased in favor of Jaroslav Halak in the third period. With that in mind, the Sabres are bracing for a team looking to rebound in its home opener.
"We understand where our opponent is right now," Housley said. "Any time you go on the road and you have an effort like that, teams are going to respond. I think our guys are ready for that. Not to take anything away from the New York Islanders and their home game and their home opener, but we're on a mission as well. We're trying to look for our first win."
Prior to the loss in Columbus, the Islanders went 6-0-2 in the preseason and beat the Sabres in Buffalo with both teams virtually icing their full lineups on Sept. 29. To avoid the same fate, Housley said the Sabres will have to focus on getting pucks behind their opponents in the neutral zone.
"Through the preseason, they were pretty stingy," Housley said. "In their lock system and they're 1-1-3, we're going to have to be smart. There's not a lot of things that are going to be available in the middle. We're going to have to get pucks behind and it's going to have to be a simple game for us tonight."
Robin Lehner will start in net for the Sabres after making 38 saves in their shootout loss to Montreal. Halak will get the nod for the Islanders
Coverage begins with the GMC Pregame Show on MSG-B at 6:30 p.m., or you can listen live on WGR 550. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville
67 Benoit Pouliot - 90 Ryan O'Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
28 Zemgus Girgensons - 23 Sam Reinhart - 25 Seth Griffith
22 Johan Larsson - 10 Jacob Josefson - 26 Matt Moulson
82 Nathan Beaulieu - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
6 Marco Scandella - 5 Matt Tennyson
19 Jake McCabe - 93 Victor Antipin
40 Robin Lehner
31 Chad Johnson