Buffalo Sabres Place Marco Scandella on IR, recall Lawrence Pilut

Marco Scandella
NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25: Marco Scandella #6 of the Buffalo Sabres in action against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on March 25, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Sabres 3-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The hot Buffalo Sabres will feature a slightly different blue line for the near future. They have placed defender Marco Scandella on injured reserve and called up Lawrence Pilut from AHL Rochester. Scandella had already missed a couple of recent games with a lower-body injury. The team’s PR department reported the move through its Twitter.

Buffalo Sabres Place Marco Scandella on IR, recall Lawrence Pilut

Scandella had been off to a respectable start to the 2019-20 season. He had scored two goals and four points while averaging just 16:57 of ice time per contest. The offence was a nice bonus considering over half of Scandella’s start came in the defensive zone. He was also third among Sabres defencemen in short-handed ice time. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Scandella’s play was his ability to control the puck. His 53.8 Corsi For Percentage, meaning the team took 53.8 percent of all shots with him on the ice, was second behind only Kyle Okposo.

The former Minnesota Wild draft pick had spent over 72% of his minutes next to 20-year-old Henri Jokiharju as one of Buffalo’s more effective shutdown pairings. After Scandella, the player paired most often with the young Sabre was 19-year-old Rasmus Dahlin but Dahlin will likely stay with Colin Miller. That means Jokiharju will get a new mate on the blue line for the foreseeable future. No other Buffalo defender has more than 20 minutes next to Jokiharju at this point so projecting a permanent replacement is tough.

Whatever the new pairings, there is now an opening for 23-year-old Lawrence Pilut to see some ice. The undrafted Swede debuted last year and played in 33 games for Buffalo. He scored just one goal and six points while averaging 17:25 per night. He did have some value as a physical presence with 20 hits and 33 blocks so there might be room for him on special teams depending on how much blue line shuffling occurs between now and Scandella’s return. Pilut has done well with Rochester posting one goal and six points through the AHL squad’s first eight games.

The Sabres next game will be on Friday when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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