BUFFALO – The Sabres switched their lineup for Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, sitting three players interim coach Ted Nolan dressed last game.
Defenseman Mark Pysyk, a surprise scratch for Thursday’s 4-1 loss in Philadelphia, returned. Nolan sat the rookie, one of the Sabres’ few bright spots this season, so he could evaluate other players.
“We only have a limited amount of time to see everybody, and I mentioned to him it wasn’t because he was playing poorly,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center prior to the Sabres’ fourth straight loss. “I just wanted to see other people in different positions.”
Defenseman Alexander Sulzer, a recent recall, skated 18:11 beside Christian Ehrhoff in his second game this season. Nolan scratched Jamie McBain and Mike Weber.
Winger Corey Tropp replaced John Scott on the fourth line beside Brian Flynn, who switched to center, and Marcus Foligno.
Nolan wants to see Foligno, who played a season-low 7:33, start showcasing a more physical style.
“We got to see the power forward come out of him,” Nolan said. “The last couple games he was OK. (The) kids coming in, I tell them, ‘You can’t be OK. You got to be better than OK.’ We’ll see a better effort from Marcus today.”
He added: “We got to get him being a little bit more physical, go to the net.”
Foligno has one goal in his last 15 games.
Sabre-killer Daniel Alfredsson – the 40-year-old winger has 43 goals and 86 points in 91 games against Buffalo – returned following a five-game absence (groin).
The former Ottawa legend, who scored an empty-net goal and added an assist Sunday, bolted the Senators for Detroit in July after 17 seasons.
The Wings played without star Pavel Datsyuk, who’s out with a possible concussion. Ottawa’s Jared Cowen elbowed the center in the head Saturday.