COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Sabres figure to have a pretty strong lineup for Tuesday's preseason home opener against Pittsburgh, with a group featuring No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner, Rasmus Ristolainen and Casey Mittelstadt expected to take the ice.
The Penguins will not. Memo to fans: You're there to see the Blue and Gold. Don't go downtown expecting to see Sid and the boys.
As teams usually do for their first road preseason game, most of the big names are staying home for Pittsburgh. No Sidney Crosby. No Evgeni Malkin. No Phil Kessel or Patric Hornqvist. No Kris Letang on defense or Matt Murray in goal.
So who does that leave? The biggest name the Pens are bringing to town is high-scoring winger Jake Guentzel. Former Sabre center Derek Grant, signed as a free agent after a 12-goal season in Anaheim, is also coming. On defense will be Olli Maatta and former Sabre Chad Ruhwedel.
The rest is a mix of fringe NHL/AHL players and prospects, with forward Daniel Sprong perhaps the top name. A second-round pick in 2015, the 21-year-old was a 32-goal man last year at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The full list, most of whom would only be known by hardcore Pens fans and prospect hounds:
Goalies: Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry.
Defensemen: Chad Ruhwedel, Olli Maatta, Stefan Elliott, Juuso Riikola, Chris Summers, Dan Birks, Will O'Neill.
Forwards: Garrett Wilson, Jimmy Hayes, Dominik Simon, Derek Grant, Jean Sebastien Dea, Daniel Sprong, Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, Thomas Di Pauli, Anthony Angello, Jake Guentzel, Jordy Bellerive, Jan Drozg.