WASHINGTON – Defenseman Matt Hunwick was recalled by the Buffalo Sabres from his conditioning assignment with Rochester on Saturday and could debut as early as Sunday against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Hunwick, who has yet to play in a game since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in June because of a neck injury suffered during an offseason workout, had one point in two games with the Amerks. The 33-year-old had one shot on goal in their 3-1 win over the Cleveland Monsters on Friday in Blue Cross Arena. He will participate in warmups ahead of a 7 p.m. puck drop Saturday against Washington but is not expected to play.
Coach Phil Housley also announced that defensemena Marco Scandella will return to the lineup against the Capitals, though Housley declined to reveal the corresponding scratch. Scandella returns to bolster Buffalo's defensive pairings, which are decimated by injuries Jake McCabe and Casey Nelson.
"He played really well," Housley said Saturday of Hunwick's play in Rochester." His timing was a little bit off he said, but speaking with him today he felt more and more comfortable yesterday, which is a good sign."
Scandella, who has one goal among five points and a minus-3 rating in 23 games this season, has missed the past eight games. McCabe and Nelson have yet to practice with the Sabres.
In their absence, Matt Tennyson has played the past three games, registering a minus-3 rating. Rasmus Ristolainen, Zach Bogosian and Lawrence Pilut missed Friday's practice for "maintenance," Housley said afterward.
Hunwick, who was part of the trade that also landed Conor Sheary, struggled last season in Pittsburgh, where he had a minus-4 rating in 42 games because he struggled to adapt to the Penguins' system. He was a plus-8 with 19 points in 72 games for Toronto in 2016-17.