NEW YORK -- Mark Mancari skated with the Sabres today in Madison Square Garden after his callup Saturday from Portland and the big winger will have a prime spot on a line against the Rangers tonight with Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy. Also look for him on the power play.
"That's all very exciting," said Mancari, who will wear No. 12. "Those two guys are unbelievable players and I'm really excited to get that chance. Hopefully I can do well with it. I'm really happy to be here and then on top of that for Lindy [coach Lindy Ruff] to show enough confidence to try me there and on the power play. It's something that's very exciting and hopefully I can do well."
This is Mancari's second game of the season with Buffalo and the first was also at MSG, as he got a day-of-game callup for a cameo here on Dec. 12. He flew to Hartford that day and took a limo, arriving in New York about four hours before faceoff.
"That was a little strange," he said. "This time I didn't have to drive here the day of the game. I got here last night. That game, I played a little conservative I think, with the drive, learning they needed me the day of. Just a lot of mental games in my head. I didn't want to make too many mistakes. I felt I did OK, played a good defensive game but maybe I needed to be more offensive. Today I got to go all out, create opportunities and create space for Vanek and Roy and pick up rebounds."
Mancari leads Portland in goals (22) and points (62) and has a plus-14 rating, second only to defenseman Mike Weber's plus-18.
In addition to Vanek-Roy-Mancari, the latest edition of the Lindy Shuffle this morning was Hecht-Connolly-Pominville, Torres-Mair-Grier and Ellis-Kennedy-Kaleta. Chris Butler will once again be a healthy scratch on defense. Paul Gaustad was on the ice for the second straight day but is not taking part in drills.
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