BUFFALO – Some quick update from KeyBank Center, where the Sabres practiced for about an hour today after returning home from Vancouver early Friday morning:
The rookies, who practiced today, played two weekend games, their first-ever AHL appearances. Both scored Friday. Nelson has been scratched the last three NHL games; Fasching has sat the last two.
“I felt like I got a little more confidence back, a little more jump in my step, a little more calm even today,” said Nelson, who has played 10 pro games since leaving college in March.
Nelson, 24, said the AHL is “totally different” compared to the NHL.
“A little sloppier, but guys are still moving at a good pace,” he said. “I definitely felt the game there. I mean, when you don’t play for a while, you kind of get out of it.”
Winger Nick Baptiste, who was also sent down Friday, stayed with the Amerks.
The Sabres finish their four-game road trip Tuesday in Philadelphia.
– Sabres coach Dan Bylsma moved winger Matt Moulson up to the top line today beside Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo. Sam Reinhart moved from that left-wing spot to center between Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons.
“I think Sam needs to get his feet moving a little bit more, speed to his game,” Bylsma said.
Moulson already has two goals and has been one of the Sabres’ best forwards.
“We’re just looking for more balance on our top three lines, really,” Bylsma said. “Matt has played with Kyle before. Matt’s had some chemistry with Kyle.”
Moulson is off to a strong start after a miserable season in which he scored eight goals and became a healthy scratch. He spent some of his career with the New York Islanders playing beside Okposo, his close friend.
“The chance to go out with those two guys is an opportunity,” he said. “They’re great players.”