While Buffalo Sabres coach Ted Nolan didn’t have the full lineup available for the team’s first preseason game Sunday evening against the Washington Captials, he said that the game roster is set. And 2014 first-round pick Sam Reinhart is slated to make his preseason debut.
“Some of the veteran players will get the last two or three games and let them get their footing in. Early, we’ll see some guys who are really going to be battling for jobs,” Nolan said on Saturday. “We kind of put a ghost lineup [together] for all six games and as hockey goes, it’s all subject goes.”
Chris Stewart, who has been skating with Reinhart and Marcus Foligno the past two days, said that he will not play against Washington. So expect to see different line combinations than the ones the Sabres have used in camp so far.
Nolan has said that his goaltenders will play full games as opposed to splitting time, but he didn’t say whether it would be Jhonas Enroth or Michal Neuvirth between the pipes in the nation’s capital. Faceoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Speaking of goalies, Matt Hackett took the ice after the final practice session wrapped up on Saturday at First Niagara Center. He sustained a knee injury on April 12 and told Nolan on Friday that he felt like he was close to being cleared for on-ice workouts again. Sure enough, he was on the ice Saturday.
“You have to give our medical team and our doctors a lot of credit to get a kid up on his feet that quick,” Nolan said. “I was expecting maybe by the end of November, he might start thinking about it. But right now, he’s out [there] so it’s a great sign for him.
The game group will practice from 9:15-10 a.m. on Sunday before flying out to Washington.
The rest of the team will take the ice from 10:15-11:30 a.m.