By John Vogl
RALEIGH, N.C. -- As expected, Nathan Gerbe and Jhonas Enroth are back.
Gerbe, who missed the first two games after offseason back surgery, will make his season debut tonight against Carolina. He will skate alongside center Mikhail Grigorenko and wing Steve Ott.
"I'm feeling good," Gerbe said after the morning skate in PNC Arena. "I'm excited. Obviously, you can practice as much as you want and do conditioning as much as you want, but when you get in the game it's a different role, different aspect. I'm very, very excited for the challenge."
Enroth will make his first start of the season in net for Buffalo. The goaltender is 2-0 lifetime against the Hurricanes with a 0.49 goals-against average and .986 save percentage. Those are his best numbers against any team.
"I don't know why I have been playing well down here," he said. "Two games, one goal. The team has been playing very well those two games, too.
"I've been enjoying playing down here."
The Sabres' other lines, based on the morning skate, will be Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Jason Pominville, Marcus Foligno-Tyler Ennis-Drew Stafford, and John Scott-Jochen Hecht-Patrick Kaleta.
The defense pairs will remain the same: Jordan Leopold-Andrej Sekera, Tyler Myers-Robyn Regehr and Christian Ehrhoff-Alexander Sulzer.
Forward Matt Ellis and defensemen T.J. Brennan and Mike Weber will be scratched. To make room on the roster for Gerbe, the Sabres have placed Ville Leino (leg) on injured reserve, retroactive to Sunday.
Stafford will play in his 400th NHL game.
Five of the last nine games played in Raleigh by the teams have gone to overtime. Carolina is 4-0-1 in the contests.