The Rochester Americans open camp on Monday and some the players eligible to play there who are battling for a spot on the Buffalo Sabres’ roster will get a chance to play in another NHL preseason game Sunday night.
The Amerks projected goaltenders Andrey Makarov and Nathan Lieuwen will make the trip to Air Canada Centre for the Buffalo Sabres’ matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on MSG and heard live on WGR 550.
It will be Makarov’s first NHL game action. He served as a backup for a handful of games at the end of last season, but he never touched the ice. The number of minutes he plays will depend on his performance.
“He’s going to start. We never said how long. We’ll see how he is,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “It’s his first taste of NHL games and hopefully he’s in it for the whole game. If not, then we’ve got Lieuwen there.”
Buffalo’s lineup is filled with players working for jobs in Buffalo. Forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn, Nicolas Deslauriers, Patrick Kaleta, Matt Ellis, Johan Larsson, Zac Dalpe and Mikhail Grigorenko will play against the Maple Leafs.
“We’re in a situation where guys are still battling for jobs and by battling for them, we give opportunities,” Nolan said.
Grigorenko will center a line with skilled wings Chris Stewart and Cody Hodgson flanking him. Stewart scored twice against Toronto on Friday and Hodgson led the team in scoring last season.
“Once center icemen get [Hodgson] the puck, he’ll put it in the net. As far as put as putting Grigorenko there tonight, Grigorenko’s had a great camp,” Nolan said. “Maybe he can get him the puck tonight. Camp’s far from over so we’ll see how that works out.”
19 Cody Hodgson – 25 Mikhail Grigorenko – 80 Chris Stewart
20 Zac Dalpe – 17 Torrey Mitchell – 65 Brian Flynn
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 22 Johan Larsson – 33 Joel Armia
37 Matt Ellis – 59 Tim Schaller – 36 Patrick Kaleta
6 Mike Weber – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
64 Nick Petrecki – 41 Andrej Meszaros
10 Drew Bagnall – 24 Tyson Strachan
35 Andrey Makarov
50 Nathan Lieuwen