The Buffalo Sabres don't plan on easing Cal O'Reilly into their lineup Friday night.
Fresh off being called up from Rochester, O'Reilly was on a line with rookie center Jack Eichel and winger Jamie McGinn during the morning skate prior to the Sabres hosting the Detroit Red Wings at First Niagara Center (7 p.m., MSG, WGR 550 AM).
"He's really a versatile player," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "He could see himself at a wing position and playing center as well. He's a guy you feel confident playing ... in any situation."
O'Reilly replaces Sam Reinhart on the Sabres' roster. Reinhart was hurt Wednesday against Colorado, and is expected to miss about a week with an upper-body injury. To make room for O'Reilly, the Sabres placed forward Zemgus Girgensons on injured reserve. He's missed the past three games with an upper-body injury of his own.
O'Reilly played in a pair of games for the Sabres in December, registering one assist.
"He's a skilled player," Bylsma said. "He has the ability to control the puck. We saw that last game he was with us, 5 on 5. He made three really good plays and one ended up in Jake McCabe's goal."
O'Reilly leads the Amerks with 19 assists in 35 games.
"I left feeling pretty good the last time I was up," he said of his brief stint with the Sabres. "I just want to come here and build off that. As much ice time as I get, contribute and show them I can play, and get better and better."
O'Reilly does have some experience playing against the Red Wings from his time in the old Central Division of the Western Conference with the Nashville Predators.
"I've played against them quite a lot being in Nashville most of my career, so they're a good skilled puck possession team. A very smart team," O'Reilly said. "So it's always a good challenge when you play teams like that, because they want to have the puck all game. You've really got to work and make plays and hang onto it against them."
In 115 NHL games with four different teams, O'Reilly has 42 points. Before his two-game stint with the Sabres, it had been nearly four full years before he appeared in an NHL game, with the Pittsburgh Penguins under Bylsma.
"I was surprised at his skating this year compared to the way he was in Pittsburgh," Bylsma said, meaning that as a compliment.
In addition to skating with Eichel and McGinn, O'Reilly could see time on the power play against the Wings.
"We'll see what happens tonight, but just want to help create some offense for these guys," he said. "Whatever I do get, I'm just going to work hard and try and contribute."