Photo: Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres)

Sabres to face Golden Knights for the first time

Kyle Okposo is ready to return to the lineup after battling an illness

Paul Hamilton
October 17, 2017 - 5:23 pm
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Las Vegas, NV (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Sabres got some good news at their morning skate on Tuesday as Kyle Okposo is feeling better and will play against the Golden Knights. He will play on a line with Ryan O'Reilly and Sam Reinhart.

Head coach Phil Housley said Jacob Josefson's lower-body injury is much better, but he won't play. That leaves a big hole at center, so Zemgus Girgensons will be in the middle with Matt Moulson and Jordan Nolan.

Seth Griffith and Victor Antipin will be the healthy scratches.

The Sabres have a chance to go .500 on this four-game road trip after getting their first win of the season in Anaheim on Sunday.

The Sabres are only 9.1-percent on the power play, which is 24th in the NHL. They've also allowed a league-leading five shorthanded goals.

With all that in mind, O'Reilly has been demoted to the second PP unit, joining Moulson, Evander Kane, Nate Beaulieu and Matt Tennyson.

The top unit is Okposo, Reinhart, Jack Eichel, Jason Pominville and Rasmus Ristolainen.

Chad Johnson stopped 25 of 26 shots in Anaheim, and Housley said that earned him his second straight start.

Johnson is 1-1-0 with a 3.66 goals against and .875 save percentage.

The Golden Knights are off to a fast start in their first NHL season. Vegas beat Dallas, Boston and Arizona twice while losing here to Detroit.

They lost their goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to injury, but Malcolm Subban took over the crease and beat his old team Boston, 3-1.

James Neal has six goals in five games.

Former Sabres defenseman Brayden McNabb is a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

Join Brian Koziol at 9:00 for the pre-game. He'll have interviews with Phil Housley, Kyle Okposo, Ryan O'Reilly and Johan Larsson.

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