WASHINGTON — In his pregame briefing with reporters late Friday afternoon, Sabres coach Phil Housley confirmed his lineup decisions for tonight's game against the Washington Capitals that were clear from practice here on Thursday.
On defense, Jake McCabe and Lawrence Pilut are back while Brendan Guhle and Matt Hunwick will sit. Up front, Remi Elie will enter the lineup with Jason Pominville sidelined. Carter Hutton will start in goal.
The most significant item is the return of McCabe, who has missed the last nine games with an upper-body injury. McCabe was injured early in the Sabres' 5-4 loss Nov. 29 at Tampa Bay, the game that snapped Buffalo's 10-game winning streak. In his absence, the Sabres have gone 3-3-3.
McCabe has two goals and eight assists this season. He's expected to pair tonight with Marco Scandella.
"I've really liked the way he has attacked the game," Housley said. "He was very physical in front of our net, joined the rush at opportune times to add to our offense. He's been really consistent this year."
Pilut is expected to return to the top pair with Rasmus Ristolainen, with Rasmus Dahlin and Zach Bogosian on the second pair. Pilut has two assists in six games and has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.