The Sabres' young players have two more games to prove themselves, and the fans have two more games to wait until Buffalo really gets down to business in the preseason.
The Sabres will visit Toronto on Friday and Ottawa on Saturday, back-to-back games that will feature lineups split between prospects and veterans. The Sabres' first two preseason games, at Minnesota and home against Ottawa, also had a 50-50 mix of roster players and long shots.
"Till the last three games, we’re not going to be narrowing down to the last eight, nine defensemen and we’re not going to narrow down to the 15 or 16 or so forwards that are going to be part of our group," coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday. "A couple young kids are going to play in these games again and have opportunity. A guy like Tim Schaller hasn’t had a chance. He was injured for a day earlier in camp and he’s going to have a chance to play.
"It’s still a bit of a split squad for these next two, and the last three in the last part of our training camp will be the actual squad."
The Sabres will play seven exhibition games. They have two remaining in First Niagara Center, with Toronto visiting Tuesday and Columbus coming to town Oct. 2.
Of the remaining five games, four will feature 60-minute outings by goaltenders Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson.
"The plan is to play our goalies, Lehner and Johnson, two full games," Bylsma said. "Somewhere they’re going to have to get a whole game in pretty quickly. We have five left, so certainly the last three they’ll be playing full games."