BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly, out the last two games with a “mid-body” injury, is questionable for Thursday’s home tilt against Tampa Bay, coach Dan Bylsma said.
O’Reilly, who’s day-to-day, skated this morning on his own and is “progressing,” Bylsma said.
The Sabres held a team meeting today instead of practicing following Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in St. Louis, their fifth straight setback (0-3-2).
The 5-7-4 Sabres have six one-goal losses. In some of the other losses, including Tuesday’s, a contest the Blues scored three third-period goals, they hung with teams until late.
“I think all the games felt very similar, even the ones we’ve won 2-1 and the ones we’ve lost 2-1,” Bylsma said inside KeyBank Center. “We’re in the game. We’re battling in the game. It’s a tight game. It’s a 1-1 game. It’s a one-goal game. That’s really where we need to play every game at this point in time with the team that we have.”
In other injury news, Bylsma said center Jack Eichel, out all season with a high left ankle sprain, is “upping his skating regimen and showing signs of progress.”
“But (he) still has a ways to go, hasn’t reached all the levels of his skating yet in terms of stopping and starting,” Bylsma said.
Bylsma also said winger Tyler Ennis will miss six weeks following groin surgery last week.
Update: The Sabres sent defenseman Casey Nelson to the AHL this afternoon. The Rochester Americans host the Albany Devils tonight.
The Sabres will catch a break Thursday, as ace Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos is out after suffering a lower-body injury Tuesday.