The Sabres are expected to have three of their nine injured regulars back in the lineup when they face the New York Islanders tonight.
Patrick Kaleta, Robyn Regehr and Drew Stafford are all expected to return from injury this evening. Regehr is a definite, he was paired with Brayden McNabb at the morning skate and those two will form a physical pair on the blue line. According to the News, Ruff didn’t confirm if Kaleta and Stafford would be back. However, considering T.J. Brennan, Corey Tropp and Paul Szczechura were all returned to Rochester, it would seem as if those three will be back.
So it will be a slightly more familiar lineup tonight compared to the roster from Saturday. The Islanders have hit a rough patch which has forced them to the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Their three headed goaltender situation has muddied the water a bit but it seems Al Montoya has come out for the better, his numbers are the most impressive compared to Nabokov and DiPietro.
It is good to see Zack Kassian and McNabb stay with the big club until the rest of the Sabres’ injuries are resolved. Kassian has shown a physical side to his game and McNabb is just mean on the ice. With that pair continuing that type of play, fans have to be excited for what is in store a year or two down the road.
Brayden McNabb/Robyn Regehr pairing. These two have the potential to be a prototypical shutdown pairing. McNabb showed significant puck skills in junior and with the Amerks. That skill set, plus his willingness to hit anyone around him, makes him a very attractive prospect. Obviously Regehr comes as advertised. I’m interested to see them together this evening.
BUF: Jhonas Enroth 14GP 8-3-1, 2.29 GAA, .9225 SV%
NYI: Al Montoya 8GP 3-3-1, 2.20 GAA, .929 SV%