Brandon Pirri is in, and Michal Handzus will get a rest night on the back-to-back as the Chicago Blackhawks host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at the United Center.
Pirri was recalled from Rockford late Friday night, and Jimmy Hayes was reassigned to the IceHogs. The 22-year-old center was hopeful for a spot on the Blackhawks’ roster out of training camp. But he was sidelined for a week with a lower-body injury, which didn’t help his cause in catching up down the stretch.
Pirri will start where Handzus finished last night, on the Blackhawks’ fourth line.
“We didn’t mind him in camp. He was very close,” coach Joel Quenneville said of Pirri. “Jimmy played well ... but Jimmy will play more there. Brandon gives us a fit at center ice for us with Handzy not playing.”
As far as Pirri’s chances of staying long term, Quenneville said, “He’s here now. Hopefully he takes advantage of it.”
Corey Crawford will get the start for the Blackhawks. Ryan Miller is expected to start in goal for the Sabres, who have not won a game in regulation yet this season (0-4-1).