Buffalo's own Sean Malone gets chance with Sabres on Friday

Malone is coming off an injury

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres are in Pittsburgh to face the Penguins on Friday in their final preseason game of the year.

Ahead of Friday's contest, Buffalo’s own Sean Malone has been called up from the Rochester Americans and will suit up against the Penguins.

In his career, the 27-year-old has played two NHL games with the Sabres and the Nashville Predators. He says he appreciates the opportunity that he’s getting now.

“Just being back on the ice with the team again is exciting for me," said Malone on Friday. "I haven’t played a game since last year, so hopefully the rust comes off quick."

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Sabres head coach Don Granato says they had discussed bringing up Malone last season, but both times he was injured. Malone says it’s just something he had to handle mentally.

“I drew on past experiences. I’ve gone through some adversity in my life, and I draw on those experiences when times get tough, just sticking with it," he said. "You’ve got to cherish it being out on the ice, because the times that you’re not, you really miss it.”

Granato was able to coach Malone with the U.S. National Team Development Program, and he knows what he’s getting in the Western New Yorker.

“We wanted to give him a game earlier last year, but health dictated that wasn’t the case. In the offseason, he was a guy we wanted back," said Granato on Friday.

“If you know Sean, he’s got a great heart, and he’s a great teammate. Those are things that are essential when you talk about veteran players being in Rochester. It’s the good attitude and the good outlook on life.”

Malone has spent his entire five-year pro career with the Sabres organization except for one season with the Nashville Predators organization, that saw him play 23 games with the Chicago Wolves. In 231 games with the Amerks, Malone has 53 goals and 64 assists for 117 points.

Malone did leave for the one season, but he came back to Western New York to play at home.

“I love being close to home, but I also enjoy the culture here and what they’re trying to build,” he said.

Many fans know the culture that’s being built in Buffalo, but after talking to Amerks head coach Seth Appert and many of the players, the same thing is going on in Rochester. Malone experiences that every day.

“We had so much fun last year, and even now I’m seeing it," Malone said.

“The rookies are coming along quickly. I know there’s some language barriers, but everyone’s hanging out and I can’t wait, whether I’m here or if I’m there. I’m just really excited to be around a group where it’s really fun to be a part of.”

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Eric Comrie will be in goal on Friday, but Granato said he will not be announcing the goaltender for the rest of the season. He doesn’t want to tell the opponent who to prepare for.

Granato said Riley Sheahan has a muscular issue and is considered day-to-day.

Join Dan Dunleavy and Rob Ray for all the play-by-play action on Friday starting at 7 p.m. ET. I’ll be live in Pittsburgh with Brian Koziol during intermissions, and in the locker room live for postgame.

Friday's lines:

Bjork – Malone – Olofsson
Quinn – Mittelstadt – Tuch
Girgensons – Asplund – Hinostroza
Krebs – Cozens – Peterka

Bryson – Lyubushkin
Pilut – Priske
Davies – Clague

Photo credit Losi and Gangi
Featured Image Photo Credit: Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey)