By John Vogl
DETROIT -- Rasmus Ristolainen and Zemgus Girgensons were surprisingly calm Tuesday night. Ristolainen slept for 11 hours, while Girgensons said he had his best night of shut-eye in a long time.
The nerves are kicking in today, though.
Ristolainen and Girgensons will make their NHL debuts tonight when the Sabres visit the Detroit Red Wings. The uncommon poise possessed by the teenagers helped them make Buffalo's opening-night roster, but even the most mature player gets nervous for a first game.
"It should be a good one, I hope," Girgensons said this afternoon in Joe Louis Arena. "I just want to help the team, don’t mess up. Everyone’s probably nervous in their first game, not let that go in the head and just keep doing what I’ve been doing.
"The rush is going to be so high that you don’t need to do anything else to get motivated for the game. I’ve just got to go out there and do my thing."
Ristolainen has one goal for his debut.
"I hope we get that first win," he said. "That would be nice."
Girgensons will skate at left wing along with center Mikhail Grigorenko and right wing Brian Flynn. The other lines are Thomas Vanek-Cody Hodgson-Drew Stafford, Steve Ott-Tyler Ennis-Ville Leino, and Kevin Porter-Cody McCormick-Patrick Kaleta.
Ristolainen's defense partner will be Mike Weber. Christian Ehrhoff-Mark Pysyk and Henrik Tallinder-Tyler Myers make up the other pairs.
Ryan Miller will start in goal.
taggedRasmus Ristolainen | Zemgus Girgensons