Friday night was a tough one for the Sabres. They struggled in a 3-0 loss to Boston and in the process, they lost one of their top offensive threats as the team announced that winger Jeff Skinner will miss the next three-to-four weeks due to an upper-body injury. The injury occurred early in the third period in a collision with Boston winger David Pastrnak.
Skinner is only a year removed from scoring 40 goals although that production hasn’t quite carried over to this season. He currently sits fifth in team scoring with 11 goals and eight assists through 39 contests which isn’t the point total they were hoping for when they signed him to an eight-year, $72MM deal back in June.
Nonetheless, it’s another blow to Buffalo’s forward group which has multiple players out already and has seen several others struggle this season. GM Jason Botterill is known to be shopping multiple defensemen for help up front and while this injury could help a deal like that along, they’ve also lost some leverage with other teams in the process.
After a strong start to the season, Buffalo has won just one of their last six games and have dropped out of a playoff spot in the process with all of the teams battling with them for the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic having games in hand on them. Now they’ll be forced to try to get back in without one of their better offensive players for the next little while.