BUFFALO – With goalie Linus Ullmark ready to back up Carter Hutton tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Sabres sent rookie Jonas Johansson back to the Rochester Americans on Friday.
A lower-body injury has sidelined Ullmark, 26, the last 17 games. He started practicing again Monday.
“It’s just the next step,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said of Ullmark dressing for a game. “We’re being patient in this process and making sure that he’s game ready, so he’ll get a good skate tomorrow morning. We liked what we saw today.”
Johansson, 24, played six games during his first stint in the NHL, compiling a 1-3-1 record with a 2.94 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage.
The Swede stopped 28 shots in Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, his fifth start.
Johansson has enjoyed a stellar season with the Amerks, compiling a 13-3-3 mark with a 2.19 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and two shutouts in 20 outings. He was the Amerks’ player representative at the AHL All-Star Classic.
In other news, Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons (maintenance) and defenseman Lawrence Pilut (illness) missed Friday’s practice inside Harborcenter.
Krueger said both players are day-to-day and could miss Saturday’s game
“There’s a good chance we’ll be going with this lineup that practiced today,” he said.
That means winger Michael Frolik, a healthy scratch the last four games, could return.
Update: The Sabres have recalled defenseman John Gilmour from the Amerks.