BUFFALO – An upper-body injury will sideline Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe the rest of the preseason, the team announced this morning.
“It was in practice yesterday, just light upper body,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said inside KeyBank Center. “We’re expecting him to be good to go for the first league game.”
McCabe, 25, has battled shoulder problems in the past.
In addition to McCabe, four other Sabres defensemen – Zach Bogosian (hip), Matt Hunwick (neck), Brandon Montour (hand) and Lawrence Pilut (shoulder) – are injured.
The Sabres host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, their final home preseason game. They close their exhibition schedule on the road Saturday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Sabres open their 50th anniversary season Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh.
Here is tonight’s lineup:
– Victor Olofsson, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart
– Jeff Skinner, Marcus Johansson and Evan Rodrigues
– Jimmy Vesey, Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo
– Zemgus Girgensons, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson
– Rasmus Dahlin and Rasmus Ristolainen
– John Gilmour and Colin Miller
– Marco Scandella and Henri Jokiharju
Goalie Carter Hutton will receive his third start this preseason.
Why put Thompson, a scorer fight for a roster spot, on checking line? Krueger said he likes “a certain amount of defensive stability on every line.”
“Tage in that group will profit from the grit and profit from the forecheck of ‘Z’ when Girgensons is up there working the corners,” he said.
Tonight’s Blue Jackets lineup will be filled with AHL talent. They recalled nine players, including former Sabres winger Nathan Gerbe, from the Cleveland Monsters this morning.