The Sabres are set to welcome back winger Alex Tuch for their game on Monday, notes Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. The 25-year-old was a big part of the Jack Eichel trade but he has yet to play this season after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. With Vegas, Tuch was used in more of a secondary scoring role but with Buffalo, he should get a chance to play a considerably bigger role. He was expected to be back in roughly six months and if he does suit up against Columbus, he’ll have gotten back in just under five months.
More from the Eastern Conference:
- When the Red Wings had their pre-holiday break games postponed, some wondered if there may be more positive tests coming from them. That’s indeed the case as the team announced (Twitter link) that centers Pius Suter and Joe Veleno plus winger Sam Gagner along with assistant video coach Jeff Weintraub in COVID protocol. That brings them up to nine players currently unavailable.
- Capitals center Michael Sgarbossa was a late scratch from their game tonight against Los Angeles and it turns out that it was COVID-related as the team announced (Twitter link) that he has been placed in COVID protocol. The 29-year-old was coming off a two-point performance on Friday and has three points in seven games with Washington this season. The Caps did get some good news on that front as well, however, as winger Garnet Hathaway was taken out of protocol.
- The Lightning could be getting a key player back soon after the holiday break. Head coach Jon Cooper told reporters including Joe Smith of The Athletic (Twitter link) that center Brayden Point could be reclassified as day-to-day once they return from the break. Point has been out with an upper-body injury for just under a month and was off to a strong start to his season before it occurred with 13 points in 16 games.
- The Canadiens announced that they’ve placed center Laurent Dauphin in COVID protocol. The 26-year-old was recalled two weeks ago and has three points in five games since then including his first NHL goal in over five years. The team has also shut down their facilities through December 26th.