PHILADELPHIA -- Buffalo Sabres prospect Tyler Ennis is expected to make his NHL debut tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers after winger Drew Stafford suffered a hip-flexor injury Friday night against the Calgary Flames.
Ennis, selected 26th overall in 2008, was flying from Buffalo to Philadelphia and was scheduled to land about two hours before the game. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was still figuring out how he would use the 20-year-old center but was considering playing him between veterans Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly. Ennis also was expected to get some time on the power play.
"He makes a lot of good plays," Ruff said. "With a skill guy out of the lineup, we look to put a little more skill against these guys."
Ruff had a chance to see Ennis, who is 5-foot-9 and 163 pounds, record two assists Thursday night when Portland played Rochester in HSBC Arena. Ennis was second behind Mark Mancari among Pirates in scoring with six goals and 13 points. Ennis had 43 goals and 85 points in 61 games last season with Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League.
Stafford did not skate during the optional morning workout. The other scratches will be forward Mike Grier and defensemen Toni Lydman and Nathan Paetsch.
--- Bucky Gleason