The Sabres will wrap up their home schedule without a few familiar faces.
Here are Five Things to Know as Buffalo hosts the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in KeyBank Center.
1. Different backup for Lehner
Robin Lehner will head to the Sabres’ crease for the 31st time in 38 games. Anders Nilsson is hurt and can’t be the backup, so the Sabres have recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from Rochester.
“Anders got banged up in practice yesterday,” coach Dan Bylsma said after an optional morning skate. “He took a shot. He got through practice fine. It just kind of escalated as he came in this morning.”
Bylsma doesn’t expect the injury to linger, so Nilsson should be back for the final games Saturday in Florida and Sunday in Tampa Bay.
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) April 5, 2017
2. Jake McCabe sitting
McCabe will be a healthy scratch for Buffalo after bad turnovers during the previous two games led to goals. The 23-year-old defenseman is minus-12 in his last 14 games, dropping to minus-8 for the season.
“He’s made a few gaffes with the puck in costly situations, costly areas,” Bylsma said. “He’s kind of gotten into a bit of a hole as a result of it and lost a little confidence with his puck play, and we’ve seen that the last couple games.
“He’s been a good player for us, is a good player for us and will be going forward. I don’t want to say it’s an opportunity, but it’s an opportunity to take a step back and reset yourself. That’s what he’s going to have to do here not playing tonight. Hopefully for him, he can get back in the last two games and do that.”
Forwards William Carrier and C.J. Smith are also sitting. Smith, signed last week, has one assist and two shots while averaging 11:32 of ice time in his two games.
3. Okposo’s season likely over
Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo is expected to miss the final three games because of his illness. Okposo has been sick since March 28, with Bylsma still unable to provide a diagnosis.
“He’s sick and dealing with that,” the coach said. “It’s a difficult thing for him to be dealing with now in this situation. Very, as a coach and a person, concerned for him and his situation.”
4. No decision on Guhle
The junior season is over for Brendan Guhle, the Sabres’ top defense prospect. Buffalo can recall him or place him in Rochester. The 19-year-old played in three games for Buffalo earlier this year and finished last season with the Amerks.
Prince George, Guhle’s junior team in British Columbia, was eliminated Monday in Portland, Ore.
“We haven’t made a decision on that yet,” Bylsma said of Guhle’s next stop. “They had an 18-hour bus ride back home, so I think they’ve made it there by now. But that kind of ruined the next day, as well, so he’s still regrouping from that.”
5. Honors, giveaways await
The Sabres will celebrate Fan Appreciation Night for their home finale. In a pregame ceremony, the team will hand out player-voted awards for MVP, Unsung Hero, Rookie of the Year and Man of the Year. After the game, players will hand the jersey off their back to select season-ticket holders.