Buffalo Sabres winger Kyle Okposo missed this morning’s pregame skate in Montreal because of illness and likely won’t play tonight against the Canadiens, coach Don Granato said.
“I don’t expect him for tonight but he’s still a possibility,” Granato said on a Zoom call from the Bell Centre.
With Okposo probably out and winger Victor Olofsson (illness) also sidelined, Granato said he expects forward Brandon Biro to make his NHL debut tonight.
Biro, 23, skated at right wing this morning beside center Mark Jankowski, a healthy scratch the last two games, and Rasmus Asplund, according to reports.
“Hopefully we can get him to relax and play with some intensity,” Granato said of Biro. “But it’s just getting him through that nervous energy to start that he can get into his game.”
Biro, who was recalled Tuesday from the Rochester Americans, has compiled nine goals and 31 points in his last 28 games.
Meanwhile, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin will return tonight after a lower-body injury sidelined him for Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In other lineup news, Granato said goalie Craig Anderson will start his second consecutive game. Anderson endured his worst outing this season Sunday, allowing six goals on 38 shots.
“He is our top guy and he’s ready, he’s had a couple days rest,” Granato said of Anderson.
The Sabres had alternated Anderson and backup Dustin Tokarski for the last nine games.
Anderson has compiled a 15-14-3 record with a 3.07 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage in 33 career games against the Canadiens. The American has stellar numbers – 5-3-0, 2.49 and .927 – in his last eight outings versus Montreal.
He made 29 saves in the Sabres’ 5-3 win Feb. 13 in Montreal.