BUFFALO – The Sabres’ beleaguered blue line will receive a much-needed addition tonight.
Sabres coach Phil Housley said defenseman Jake McCabe, sidelined the last 13 games with an upper-body injury, will return against the Columbus Blue Jackets inside KeyBank Center.
Defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a shot in Saturday’s ugly 5-1 road loss to the New York Islanders, will sit out tonight. Housley said the Sabres will know more on Scandella on Monday.
McCabe, 25, is perhaps the Sabres’ most versatile defenseman. He also showcases an edge the reeling team, which has lost six straight games (0-5-1), sorely needs.
“I just like the way he approaches the game,” Housley said. “Obviously, he defends really well, he’s tough to play against, he boxes out well, he’s a big part of his penalty-killing unit, but he also adds to the rush.
“I think anytime you throw your body in harm’s way it gives the bench energy.”
Linus Ullmark will start in goal tonight.
The Sabres will make one change up front, inserting Evan Rodrigues for Jason Pominville. An upper-body injury has sidelined Rodrigues the last two games.
Defensemen Zach Bogosian (lower body), Matt Hunwick (upper body) and Rasmus Ristolainen (flu) are all out tonight.