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by Chris Ryndak / Buffalo Sabres

TORONTO – Anders Lindback will make the start in Buffalo on Wednesday when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

He’s started two of the past three games and played 26:07 in relief on Saturday, making 20 saves on 22 shots against Washington. Lindback is competing with Matt Hackett for the starting job right now.

So why did Sabres coach Ted Nolan decide to go with Lindback against Toronto?

“Why not? They’re both vying for playing time. I thought last game, he played a little bit better so he deserves it,” Nolan said.

Zach Bogosian and Andrej Meszaros, who both left the game against the Capitals due to injury were on the ice for the morning skate. Bogosian took regular line rushes with Andre Benoit while Nikita Zadorov rotated in on Meszaros’ pairing with Tyson Strachan.

Nolan said they’ll decide during warmups which six defensemen will dress in the game, mentioning they’ll go with the healthiest options.

The Tops Game Night pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. Faceoff on MSG-B and Sportsnet is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can also be heard live on WGR 550.

At forward, Johan Larsson will have a chance to skate with the top line. He’ll be the pivot between Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis. Philip Varone will center the second line featuring Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta.

Larsson said he had a bit of a “Welcome to the NHL moment” last game when he was lining up against Nicklas Backstrom. Since the Trade Deadline, players Larsson, Varone and Tim Schaller have been counted on to play a larger role for the Sabres and Larsson is trying to make the most of it.

“It’s a great opportunity to play on the first line,” he said. “You never know never if you’ll ever do that so I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Jerry D’Amigo also received his first recall of the season after the deadline passed and in three games, he’s seen Nolan give him more and more responsibility on the ice. He’ll go up against his former team, the Maple Leafs, for the first time on Wednesday and has learned a lot of lessons since last season, including not taking a shift in the NHL for granted.

“You only get a few chances to prove your worth in this League. For me, I just want to make every game count and hope for the best,” he said.

“I think Teddy’s getting a little more comfortable with me and having a little more confidence. And it shows. My ice time’s been increasing so I’m just going to keep playing the way I am. I’m getting more opportunities, especially on the penalty kill so keep getting chances like that and succeeding with them.”

26 Matt Moulson – 22 Johan Larsson – 63 Tyler Ennis
82 Marcus Foligno – 84 Phil Varone – 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 59 Tim Schaller – 19 Cody Hodgson
49 Jerry D’Amigo – 37 Matt Ellis – 20 Zac Dalpe

61 Andre Benoit – 47 Zach Bogosian
41 Andrej Meszaros – 24 Tyson Strachan
6 Mike Weber – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

35 Anders Lindback
31 Matt Hackett

Scratched: 51 Nikita Zadorov
Injured Reserve: 4 Josh Gorges (lower body), 8 Cody McCormick (blood clots), 9 Evander Kane (shoulder), 28 Zemgus Girgensons (lower body), 36 Patrick Kaleta (lower body)

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