There’s a lot of names under this category tonight as the Sabres are icing some of their young “veterans” for the first time.
Rasmus Dahlin/Henri Jokiharju
The Sabres likely top defensive pair for the 82-game regular season will make their preseason debuts against the Penguins tonight. Both are fresh off signing three-year deals for the Sabres and will be heavily relied upon this year to drive play from the backend.
Sabres Top Line
Tonight, the Sabres top line features Casey Mittelstadt, Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson. A potential look at a possible line for the regular season (although Cozens has typically centered those two wingers). These three should be the best line on the ice tonight, and I would expect them to have a positive showing in their first preseason game.
Matej Pekar (BUF)
This lineup doesn’t feature a ton of young prospects, but Matej Pekar will get his first glimpse of preseason action.
Playing with Malone and Thompson, Pekar will likely be a thorn in the side of the Penguins players and try to get under their skin while trying to produce some semblance of an offensive threat. He had a slow season in Rochester last year but did pick things up as the year went on (scoring his six points in the last 10 games of the season).
Ryan MacInnis (BUF)
He may not be a “sexy” name, but Ryan MacInnis has been one of the more impressive storylines in the Sabres’ bottom-6 this preseason. He had a strong showing in the Blue and Gold scrimmage and followed that up with an impressive showing against Columbus in the first preseason game.
He’s a name to watch and is likely in a battle with John Hayden for the 13th forward or even a potential fourth-line role this year.
Kasperi Kapanen (PIT)
Pittsburgh roster tonight doesn’t feature a lot of their high-end talent but Kasperi Kapenen will be on their top line and should be their best player on the ice. He brings a lot of speed and jam to the game and has some offensive pop. It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs without their big guns in the lineup.
Craig Anderson’s Preseason Debut
So far through the first two games we saw a split between Dell & Tokarski, then UPL play the entire second game. Tonight should be the first time we see Craig Anderson in game action for Buffalo. The veteran goalie will likely be leaned on as a mentor this season in Buffalo and will have to make some starts and try to stabilize a goalie position that looks to be in flux this year.
How to Watch
Fans within the Sabres’ local broadcast market can stream the game on sabres.com.
Come chat with us during the game and follow for news, highlights and analysis @thechargingbuf