BOSTON -- Mark Mancari will man left wing on the Sabres' No. 2 line tonight against the Bruins as he was called up from Portland this morning to replace the injured Drew Stafford.
Mancari leads the Pirates in goals (12) and points (26) over 23 games and is plus-6. He has five goals in the last five games and is tied for 10th in the AHL in scoring, but is only four points off the league lead. The 25-year-old played in his 400th professional game Saturday night against Norfolk.
Mancari has two goals and three assists in 16 career games with the Sabres. He will skate tonight, at least initially, with former Portland linemate Luke Adam and Jason Pominville.
"I don't want to mess with the other lines," coach Lindy Ruff said. "If we move him around, then we have to move someobdy from almost every line. Initially, we'll start him there. If it isn't working, we'll make adjustments."
Adam was leading AHL rookies in scoring when he was called up to the Sabres for the third time this year on Nov. 24. Tonight will be his eighth game and he's looking for his first NHL goal. Perhaps an Adam-Mancari pairing could help both of them?
"Luke is a big body and that's a little bit different than the other guys I've played with," said Mancari, whose previous centers in Portland included Tim Kennedy and Tyler Ennis. "He gets in the corner and he's a big guy who can get around the ice and create space for himself and his linemates. You really notice him. He's going to be a great player. He was leading rookies down there in scoring and there's a reason he's up here so quickly and for so long."
Shaone Morrisonn is still not 100 percent after taking the hit to the head from Columbus' Jared Boll Friday against Columbus. So he will sit out and Chris Butler will work with Mike Weber on the third blueline pair. The injured trio of Stafford, Tim Connolly and Rob Niedermayer all skated. Morrisonn stayed late for extra work with assistant coach James Patrick.
"He still wasn't feeling quite right," Ruff said. "He could play but my decision was not to play him."
Reminder: Tonight's game is a 7:30 contest on Versus, not MSG.