Despite being pegged to miss several weeks due to a non-displaced fracture in his foot on Sunday, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges will suit up for Buffalo tonight, reports Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News. As a result, the 32 year old will only have missed three games as a result of the fracture. The stay-at-home blueliner has one assist through 23 games so far this season while averaging 19:27 of ice time per game, his lowest since 2007-08 when he played in Montreal.
That wasn’t the only good news the Sabres received on the injury front as Dmitry Kulikov, who has missed the last 14 games with a back injury, will also return to the lineup. The 26 year old was one of Buffalo’s key offseason acquisitions after being acquired from Florida at the draft. Although he was off to a slow start (pointless in 12 games), he’ll instantly give their top four a big boost as someone that can log heavy minutes.
As a result of these two being activated, Moritz notes that Brendan Guhle will return to his junior team (Prince George of the WHL) after being summoned as an emergency recall. The 19 year old played in three games and certainly held his own, logging over 16 minutes of ice time per night while drawing praise from head coach Dan Bylsma:
“I think there’s significant evidence he showed he could play at this level. At the same time he’s 19-year-old kid. You know there’s going to be some ups and downs in his game over the course of his NHL career but he did a pretty remarkable job stepping into a tough situation, a tough spot and showed he could play and contribute.”
[Related: Sabres Depth Chart]
Other injury notes from around the league:
- The Stars announced that they have activated right winger Jiri Hudler off IR. He has missed all but four games this season as a result of a lingering illness. To make room for him on the roster, the team has assigned centre Jason Dickinson to their AHL affiliate in Texas. Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge also adds via Twitter that defenseman Julius Honka has been placed on IR retroactive to December 6th with an upper body injury.
- Minnesota defenseman Christian Folin has been cleared to play by team doctors, Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star Tribune notes. He’s expected to take the warmup for tonight’s game against Edmonton; a decision on his playing status will be made at that time. Folin has played in 19 games for the Wild this season, largely on the third pairing.
- From that same column, Russo also reports that Zac Dalpe is also skating with the team. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in early November and has played in just nine games so far this season, recording three points. There remains no timetable for his return to the lineup but this is certainly a step in the right direction for Dalpe.