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Sabres trim roster by four, essentially set opening-night lineup

The Sabres have until Tuesday afternoon to finalize their opening-night roster. They took care of it Saturday.

Buffalo sent defenseman Taylor Fedun and forwards Justin Bailey and Nicolas Deslauriers to Rochester. The Sabres also released defenseman Cody Goloubef from his professional tryout.

Bailey can report to the Amerks immediately, while Fedun and Deslauriers must go through waivers. Teams have until noon Sunday to claim them.

The moves left the Sabres with 27 players, four over the 23-man limit. However, that includes the injured quartet of defenseman Jake McCabe and forwards Alex Nylander, Evan Rodrigues and Sean Malone.

Assigning them to injured reserve would get the Sabres to 23. While the Sabres don't have to make any more moves, it's possible they will.

The Sabres have 13 healthy forwards: Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, Jacob Josefson, Evander Kane, Johan Larsson, Matt Moulson, Jordan Nolan, Ryan O'Reilly, Kyle Okposo, Jason Pominville, Benoit Pouliot and Sam Reinhart.

The Sabres have eight defensemen: Victor Antipin, Nathan Beaulieu, Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk, Josh Gorges, Rasmus Ristolainen, Marco Scandella and Matt Tennyson. Bogosian's status is unknown after he suffered an injury late in Friday's preseason finale. The Sabres took Saturday off and will return to practice Sunday.

As expected since July 1, the Sabres' goaltending tandem will be Robin Lehner and Chad Johnson.

The NHL is requiring all teams to submit their salary cap-compliant roster by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The cap is $75 million for the 2017-18 season.

The 27 players on the Sabres' roster, including the injured skaters, total $71,289,940.

Griffith won the competition for the final forward spot with a solid effort during the preseason finale. His ability to create chances helped him pull away from Bailey, who was noticeable on the penalty-kill unit but again struggled to prove he could score in the NHL.

Deslauriers has spent the past four seasons in Buffalo, but the acquisition of Nolan off waivers sealed his fate.

Solid preseason showings by Falk and Tennyson earned them spots over Fedun. When McCabe returns from his shoulder ailment, the Sabres will need to make another roster choice.

Housley has work to do to get Sabres ready for regular season

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