Nick Deslauriers has played three positions. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Nick Deslauriers willing to play anywhere

BUFFALO – After playing center for the first time in Thursday’s 2-1 overtime loss, defenseman-turned-winger Nick Deslauriers is ready to tackle another position for the Sabres.

“I’m waiting to see if I need to stack the pads in practice soon, just to have that on my resume,” the versatile Deslauriers joked this morning inside KeyBank Center. “Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad to be like that.”

Deslauriers became a winger in 2013-14 after starting his career as a defenseman, a move that helped him crack the NHL for the first time later that season.

“I’m used to changing positions quite a bit,” said Deslauriers, who has been scratched regularly in recent weeks.

Deslauriers had never played center until Thursday, when Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, with no other options, inserted him in the middle of the fourth line against the New York Rangers.

“I didn’t get tested that much, so I don’t really have an output on being a centerman.” said Deslauriers, who played a career-low two minutes, 46 seconds over only five shifts.

Deslauriers is slated to play center tonight against the Ottawa Senators. His minutes, of course, could be short again.

“It’s probably the hardest minutes you can play in a hockey game,” Deslauriers said of playing so little. “You got to stay focused. It’s not the minutes you want to be playing that low, but sometimes you get put in those situations. (They’re) pretty much critical.

“If you make a mistake, it might cost you the game. So that’s why you have to be a little bit more focused than everybody else and just keep it simple.”

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