The Buffalo Sabres got some good news as forward Jeff Skinner practiced with the team Sunday and is now considered day-to-day, according to the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington. Skinner suffered an upper-body injury in late December and was deemed to be out three to four weeks.
Skinner, however, had already been skating on his own before the all-star break and many had hoped he might be ready for Tuesday’s game against Ottawa. Head coach Ralph Krueger said that he hopes that Skinner will be available on Tuesday. Skinner has been a bit of a disappointment so far this year after signing an eight-year, $72MM contract in the offseason with just 11 goals and 19 points in 39 games, a far cry from his 40-goal season last year. If Skinner is ready to play Tuesday, Buffalo will have to activate him off of injured reserve.
- Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said that while none of his injured trio are expected to play on Monday against the Washington Capitals, two of his players are close to returning, according to Sportsnet’s Eric Engels. Forward Brendan Gallagher, who has missed nine of the team’s past 10 games with a head injury, still needs to be cleared by doctors, but Julien said he feels good and should be back in a few days. Jonathan Drouin is also supposed to be ready to return within the week, but Julien said he had no idea when that would be. Drouin has missed 31 straight games after having surgery on his wrist. Paul Byron is out “longer term.”
- The New Jersey Devils are expecting to get back a key player as well as forward Kyle Palmieri returned to practice Sunday and is expected to play Monday against Ottawa, according to NHL.com’s Amanda Stein. Palmieri missed four games before the break and missed the All-Star Game as well, with a foot injury. The 28-year-old has 16 goals and 31 points in 44 games for the Devils.
- Stein also adds that New Jersey Devils rookie forward Jesper Boqvist, who was assigned to the Binghamton Devils in the AHL before the break so he could continue playing while the team was off, will remain there for the time being to get some extra playing time. The 21-year-old has just four goals and no assists in 34 NHL games and has one goal in three games with Binghamton.