With the Detroit Red Wings in town Sunday evening, the Buffalo Sabres will make some changes to their lineup. Coming off a 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Sabres coach Ted Nolan hopes the moves will spark something in his club.
Defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Andrej Meszaros are back in after sitting out as healthy scratches. Andre Benoit and Mike Weber will come out of the lineup.
Zadorov has played one game this season, in which he logged 6:12 of ice time.
“I was really impressed with the young man. He’s been working his behind off every day in practice and working on his game,” Nolan said. “He’s getting better so we’re going to put him in.”
Faceoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. at First Niagara Center. The Tops Gamenight pregame show begins at 4:30 p.m. on MSG-B and Bell TV. The game can also be heard live on WGR 550.
Michal Neuvirth will start in goal for Buffalo.
THIS IS A CALL UP
Nolan also said Sunday that Marcus Foligno got hurt during the game in Pittsburgh and after further evaluation, has been ruled out for the Red Wings game.
Johan Larsson has been recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League and will take Foligno’s place on a line with Cody Hodgson at center and Chris Stewart on right wing.
WATCH: LARSSON SPEAKS WITH THE MEDIA
Larsson returns to the Sabres after recording four assists in 28 NHL games during his rookie season in 2013-14. The Lau, Sweden native has recorded eight points (3+5) in nine games for the Amerks so far this season after recording 41 points (15+26) in 51 AHL games last season.
In parts of two NHL seasons, Larsson has played in 29 games for the Sabres and the Minnesota Wild, tallying four points (0+4). The Sabres acquired Larsson as part of a trade with the Wild in April 2013.
He sustained an upper-body injury in a preseason game against Toronto on Sept. 28 and was out for the rest of training camp. He was sent down to the Amerks on Oct. 10 once he was healthy.
“It was tough, obviously. You want to be a part of this team, but you’ve got to stay positive, go down there and play good and hopefully get the chance,” Larsson said Sunday.
Larsson said he can’t think about the struggles the Sabres have had recently and will try to come in fresh and focus on what he can do to make the team successful. Larsson recorded an assist in Buffalo’s last meeting against Detroit back on April 6, 2014.
Known as a gritty, two-way player who can agitate the opposition, Larsson can perhaps provide a bit of a spark to a club that really needs one right now.
“When teams go in funks like we are, if somebody has the magic formula of how to get out of it, they’d bottle up and sell it,” Nolan said. “But I think the magic formula is just work your way out of it and quit feeling sorry for yourself. The more you feel sorry for yourself, the more teams are going to take advantage of you and make it more miserable.”
26 Matt Moulson – 63 Tyler Ennis – 21 Drew Stafford
22 Johan Larsson – 19 Cody Hodgson – 80 Chris Stewart
17 Torrey Mitchell – 28 Zemgus Girgensons – 12 Brian Gionta
44 Nicolas Deslauriers – 8 Cody McCormick – 65 Brian Flynn
4 Josh Gorges – 57 Tyler Myers
41 Andrej Meszaros – 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
51 Nikita Zadorov – 24 Tyson Strachan
34 Michal Neuvirth
1 Jhonas Enroth
Healthy Scratches: 6 Mike Weber, 61 Andre Benoit
Injured: 82 Marcus Foligno
Injured Reserve: 31 Matt Hackett, 36 Patrick Kaleta