Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate: Columbus Blue Jackets

The pre season is ticking away for the Buffalo Sabres – who still have some work to do to get their roster down to the 23 man minimum before next weeks start to the season.  Tonight they will face a familiar pre season opponent in the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Buffalo Sabres were cruising along fine in the preseason, stacking up wins in various fashions before entering the Toronto Maple Leafs into the equation.  Dismantled in two games during a home and home season with their Northern rivals.

Tonight closes out the home portion of the schedule for the Buffalo Sabres – who are playing in their sixth of seven pre season games.

Buffalo bested the Columbus Blue Jackets in the pre season once already this year, beating the Jackets 3-1 back on September 17th in Columbus.

For those ready to get the action underway in Buffalo and don’t have a ticket, MSG will be carrying tonight’s Buffalo Sabres contest.  Despite losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs at home over the weekend, they were able to take the game into a shootout, which means they have not lost at home in regulation time since September of 2007.

If the lines from the morning skate are any indication of how Ron Rolston will use his players tonight, it looks like Drew Stafford is going to be getting first line ice time with Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson.

Tyler Ennis will center a line with Steve Ott and Ville Leino.  It’s all rookies and prospects for the Buffalo Sabres third line, with Zemgus Girgensons and Joel Armia standing alongside Mikhail Grigorenko.

Johan Larsson will try and continue his impressive pre season trying to make the Buffalo Sabres on the fourth line with Scott and Kaleta.

On Defense, Tallinder/Myers, Ehrhoff/Pysyk, Weber/Ristolainan look like your top three defensive pairs, with Sulzer/McBain and Zadorov playing it out as the extra defenseman.

According to the Blue Jackets website, it appears as if they are going young for their complete roster as well.  Anisimov, Chaput, Craig, Foligno, Skille, Smith, Calvert, Umberger, Johansen, Marchessault, Collins, Letestu will be the forwards.  While on defense ERixon, Melart, Weber, Goloubef, Savard, and Wisniewski.

I would anticipate Jhonas Enroth to start for the Buffalo Sabres – but Ryan Miller could also get the nod – as there is no question as to who the starting goaltender will be for the Buffalo Sabres.


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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Columbus Blue Jackets

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