Buffalo Sabres head coach Don Granato announced Friday morning that center Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Henri Jokiharju will both be sidelined for “a couple of weeks” with different injuries.
Mittelstadt left Thursday night’s 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens with an upper-body injury. It’s unclear as to when or on what play Mittelstadt sustained the injury. Jokiharju played the entirety of last night’s contest, logging 16:39 of ice time. He’s sidelined with a lower-body ailment.
Granato notes that Arttu Ruotsalainen and Will Butcher will likely draw into the lineup Saturday against Arizona in the place of Mittelstadt and Jokiharju. He also says the team wants “to get everybody in,” making it seem like additional call-ups from the AHL’s Rochester Americans are likely coming to bolster the roster.
It’s an extremely tough break for a Sabres team that got off to an unexpectedly strong start, albeit through just one game. They’ll now have to move forward without their number one center in addition to a top-pairing defenseman for multiple weeks.
If Granato’s “couple of weeks” prognosis holds true, Mittelstadt and Jokiharju could miss six games over the course of the next two weeks. The Sabres have a rather light schedule to begin the season but have a pair of tough matchups against the Boston Bruins on October 22 and the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning on October 25.