Sabres vs. Senators Preview: O'Reilly, Kane and Lehner to debut
Fans won't get to see Jack Eichel in Buffalo tonight, but they will still be treated to a star-studded lineup.
Preseason Game #2
Buffalo Sabres (1-0-0) vs.
Ottawa Senators (0-2-0)
Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: NHL Network (Tape Delay at 10:30) | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Senators Blog: Silver Seven
Two days ago Jack Eichel made his preseason Sabres debut. Now, it's Evander Kane and Ryan O'Reilly's turn. It will be the first game action for the team's top line, and this go-around, we will actually get to see the Sabres and not just hear them. Not only is the game in Buffalo, but it will also be aired on television three hours late on the NHL Network.
Kane and O'Reilly will unsurprisingly be playing with last year's leading scorer Tyler Ennis. Behind that group will be the projected third line, featuring Sam Reinhart centering Jamie McGinn and Brian Gionta. It seems like a smart combination, as Reinhart is surrounded by veteran presences that actually have scoring touch. Being on a Sabres third line no longer means you're playing with grinders.
Robin Lehner (who, by the way, told reporters he'd like his name pronounced Lenner) will also get his first start, matching up against the team that traded him at the draft. Andrej Makarov will be the backup, and will likely get time in a similar fashion to Nathan Lieuwen in Minnesota.
Bylsma said most of the players from the last game will not play tonight, including Eichel. When it comes to defense, that could mean that at least a few of the remaining veterans, Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian, Mark Pysyk Carlo Colaiacovo and Josh Gorges, should be in the lineup.
This will be Ottawa's first normal preseason game. The Senators played two split-squad scrimmages on Monday, both against the Maple Leafs. They lost by a combined score of 8-4. Who will be on the ice for Ottawa is unknown, but they have made severe cuts to the training camp roster already. They are only practicing with 25 players.
Update: We have the official lineup for tonight.
Projected BUF Lineup
Kane - O'Reilly - Ennis
McGinn - Reinhart - Gionta
Rodrigues - Legwand - Akeson
D'Amigo - Cornel - Baptiste
Colaicovo - Gorges
Donovan - Guhle
Leduc - Ruhwedel
Goal: Robin Lehner