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Scandella set to return against Capitals after missing last 8 games

Buffalo opens up back-to-back slate tonight in Washington at 7 p.m.

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Buffalo Sabres are getting healthier on defense as Marco Scandella is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Washington Capitals.

Scandella has missed the past eight games with an upper-body injury.

Coach Phil Housley said who will come out of the lineup will be a game-time decision. In Scandella's absence, Rasmus Dahlin has logged top-pair minutes with Zach Bogosian, Lawrence Pilut has skated alongside Rasmus Ristolainen, and Nathan Beaulieu and Matt Tennyson have made up the third pair over the last three games. 

Matt Hunwick has been recalled from his conditioning loan in the AHL and will take the warmup. He played in a pair of games for the Rochester Americans this week, recording an assist. It's unclear at this point if he'll be ready to go tomorrow evening for Buffalo's game against Boston.

Jake McCabe and Casey Nelson are also on injured reserve. 


Faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the GMC Game Night pregame show on MSG starting at 6:30 p.m. Rick Jeanneret and Rob Ray will have the call just on MSG and WGR 550. 

Those on defense will have their hands full with Alexander Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals ready to attack. Washington rallied from a 4-1 deficit to beat Carolina 6-5 in a shootout last night in Raleigh. Ovechkin scored three goals and now has hat tricks in back-to-back games. 

The Capitals have won four in a row while Buffalo is coming off two straight wins. 

"We have to execute early. That's what I liked about going through these stretches," Housley said. "We were fast, the passes were clean, we exited the zone quickly so it didn't allow them to establish a forecheck. That's going to be really important. The guys have done a really good job of taking that onus on, just being ready to play." 

Carter Hutton will start in goal. 

Berglund suspended

Video: PREGAME: Housley

Earlier in the day, the team issued a statement announcing that forward Patrik Berglund had been suspended indefinitely by the organization due to failure to report to the team. Housley was asked about the situation during his pregame media availability.

"Patrik Berglund is suspended. [General manager Jason Botterill] and the management staff is handling that now," he said. "From my knowledge, talking to the medical staff, he was ill. So we handled it that way. Obviously, it developed into something different.

"…We're going to focus on the guys in that locker room. We've got a big game tonight against a great opponent. All our energy and our focus is going to be towards our game."

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