GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ted Nolan has been clear that he expects more from Nikita Zadorov. The defenseman will get another chance to show something Monday night.
Zadorov, scratched Saturday in Colorado, will be back in the lineup when the Sabres visit Arizona. He'll skate with Mike Weber and replace Tyson Strachan.
"Really excited to just play my game," Zadorov said after the morning skate in Gila River Arena.
Nolan pulled Zadorov aside for a one-on-one chat after publicly asking for better play the past few days.
"I don’t think it’s messages," Zadorov said. "There’s seven D, and someone’s got to sit. That was just my turn. I’ve got to be ready for the game tonight."
Zadorov was one of seven Sabres to take the ice Sunday for an optional workout, and the coaches put the defenseman through the hardest skate.
"I got the extra work because I didn’t play the day before, so I think it’s the same work that everyone did in the game," he said.
Zadorov's last game was the 4-3 overtime win by Arizona on Thursday, so he and the Sabres know what to expect in the rematch.
"They’re in a pretty similar situation to us," Zadorov said. "They’re out of a playoff spot. They’re fighting to give opportunities to lots of young guys to show the coaches what they can do, same as our team. They’re just battling hard and they just want to win like everyone in this league. We’ve just got to play hard."
Anders Lindback will start in goal for the Sabres, while Andrey Makarov will serve as the backup. Matt Hackett has a lower-body injury.
“His injury from before, it was just kind of a reoccurrence of it,” Nolan said. “We’ll give him a little more time to rest this time.”
The Coyotes announced that Mike Smith will start in net. He is 13-38-5 with a .903 save percentage and 3.16 goals-against average.
Injured Tyler Ennis joined the Sabres for the late stages of the morning skate, but it was only to test his puckhandling and shooting ability. He'll miss his second straight game with a shoulder ailment.
“He looks really good,” Nolan said. “Hopefully, next game.”