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Sabres Notebook: Buffalo to split into game, scrimmage groups; Scandella sits

One way or another, all of the Sabres will get a taste of game action Monday.

After just three days of training camp, Buffalo will open its exhibition schedule. The Sabres will welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to Key Bank Center at 7 p.m. (WGR-AM 550). Tickets range from $22 to $45, though they were at low as $6 on

Coach Phil Housley didn't announce his lineup, but he did say Sunday he may transfer an entire practice group to the game.

"I like that they've practiced together, so they've got a little camaraderie and consistency with their linemates," Housley said in HarborCenter.

One group Sunday included veterans Ryan O'Reilly, Kyle Okposo, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen. The second group featured Jack Eichel, Evander Kane, Jason Pominville, Nathan Beaulieu and Zach Bogosian.

While 20 players will prepare for the Hurricanes, the remaining 47 will get ready for each other.

The players not skating in the game will practice from 9:15-9:45 a.m. in HarborCenter, then scrimmage from 9:50-10:30 a.m. The intrasquad game will be streamed live on


The Sabres had one notable absence Sunday: Marco Scandella. The defenseman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left hip in May, took a maintenance day.

"He's a little sore, so it's no sense in rushing him back to play," said Housley, who liked Scandella's effort Saturday. "He really went after it, just testing it out."

The Sabres' opening practices have been high-tempo, skate-heavy affairs. While Scandella is expected to be recovered by the season opener Oct. 5, Housley saw no reason to push the defenseman early.

"You've got to think he hasn't a full summer of training, so we're really being cautious with it," Housley said. "It's one of those things where you're stepping in, trying to catch a moving train, so we're just going to make sure in his progression it's the right state of mind for him every day."

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