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Nolan calls an audible: Lindback to start in goal against Bruins

BOSTON -- Sabres' coach Ted Nolan has pulled a 180 from his stance of Monday and has opted to again start Anders Lindback in goal in tonight's game against the Bruins at TD Garden. So that means no demon-exorcising start for Matt Hackett, whom Nolan pretty much committed to on Monday.

In fairness, Nolan had left a teeny-tiny crack in his words to bring back Lindback and is apparently going to take advantage of that after the big Swede stopped 35 of 38 shots in Buffalo's 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.

Nolan said he had a long discussion with goaltending coach Arturs Irbe this morning and they decided they wanted to see how Lindback would respond to starts on back-to-back nights.

"He's playing well," Nolan said. "We had a long debate about whether he should go right back in but he's vying for a No.1  position here. In No. 1 positions, you have to go back-to-back sometimes."

This will be Lindback's sixth start in the seven games since Michal Neuvirth was dealt to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline. Lindback, remember, sat for the first eight games after he was acquired from Dallas for Jhonas Enroth while Neuvirth stayed red-hot.

Nolan has shown a propensity for running with the hot hand, and Lindback has been terrific even though he has an 0-3-2 record with the Sabres.

John Vogl wrote about Irbe on Monday and the Latvian's impact on Buffalo's goalies has been pretty apparent. Check out the stats of the three main netminders with the Sabres this year, compared to their numbers with their other team in 2014-15:

Enroth: BUF 3.27 GAA, .903 sv pct; DAL: 3.35-.873
Neuvirth: BUF 2.99 GAA, .918 sv pct; NYI 2.56-.889
Lindback: BUF 2.70 GAA, .924 sv pct; DAL 3.71-.875

"I mentioned to Hackett just a couple days ago, 'Just be ready. You might be getting in soon,' " Nolan said. "I thought maybe today would be the day. But the way Lindback played last night, he's a big man so he should be able to. We'll see how it goes. We're experimenting."

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