by Amy Moritz
You only get one chance to make a final impression.
Welcome to the Buffalo Sabres' season finale where players, especially the younger ones, have a chance to make a lasting impression on the Sabres coaching staff and front office. The Sabres host the New York Islanders at 5 p.m. in First Niagara Center. It's a critical opportunity for players looking for jobs and to be part of an organization headed toward a complete rebuild over the summer.
Ted Nolan said that Connor Knapp will get the start in goal for the Sabres as Andrey Markarov, who has played the last two nights for the Rochester Americans, will serve as backup. For those counting, the team has dressed nine different goaltenders this season, breaking the NHL record for most goaltenders which was set by Anaheim in 2009-10 and matched this year by Edmonton.
Knapp played for 11:35 of the third period Saturday in Boston, entering the game after starter Matt Hackett suffered a serious leg injury.
Just how serious? Nolan said full updates on the injured Sabres will be given on Monday as the team cleans out the dressing room and leaves for the off-season.
The injuries have meant three call-ups from Rochester for the Sabres finale -- Markarov, Nick Deslauriers and Mark Pysyk.
It also means that previously healthy scratches Ville Leino and Zenon Konopka will be in the linup tonight.
Andrews Nilsson will start for the New York Islanders. He is 7-7-2 with a 3.13 goals against average and .894 save percentage in 18 appearances this season.
Nolan's complete pre-game comments can be heard here: