DETROIT – Johan Larsson is getting another shot. Dan Bylsma made it clear he needs to make the most of it.
Larsson, a healthy scratch in the Sabres’ previous two games, will be in the lineup Tuesday when Buffalo visits the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m., MSG, WGR-AM 550).
“I want to see some energy and passion in his game,” Bylsma said after the morning skate in Joe Louis Arena. “He’s a good player with speed and skill, and he’s got to bring it with a little more passion, a little more jam to his game. I know he can provide it.”
It appeared Larsson was going to sit for the third straight game. The forward was a bystander along the boards as the team went through its line rushes. But Bylsma and Larsson had a long one-on-one at the end of the skate, and the coach is using the 23-year-old against the Wings with the caveat that passion is required.
“That was expressed, and I think he understands where we’re coming from,” Bylsma said.
Larsson was one of the better players for the Sabres at the end of last year and seemed poised to grow into a regular. But he has no goals and three assists in 21 games despite getting ample opportunity on scoring lines.
“It’s obviously frustrating, but I’m just going to keep working,” Larsson told The News. “Too much ups and downs, obviously. I do some good things out there and some bad things, too. I’m just going to keep having a better consistent battle.
“Don’t think too much, go out and play my game. I know I can trust my game.”
The Sabres are going back to another player, starting Linus Ullmark in goal. Chad Johnson stopped 56 of 58 shots in winning Buffalo’s previous two games.
Ullmark is 4-5-1 with a .916 save percentage, but he is 0-3-1 in his last four decisions.