BUFFALO – Top Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons, who blocked a shot with his right ankle Tuesday, will play again this season, coach Ted Nolan said this morning.
Nolan hinted Girgensons could be finished after James Wisniewski’s shot hit the Latvian halfway through the 4-2 win in Columbus.
“It’s bad but not as bad as we thought,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center.
Nolan wouldn’t say if Girgensons’ ankle was broken.
“It could be, but it still could be healed in two weeks,” he said.
The Sabres will also play without winger Tyler Ennis (lower body) tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. Ennis will likely miss one game, Nolan said.
Girgensons and Ennis both have a team-high 15 goals.
With two-thirds of the Sabres’ top line injured, they recalled winger Zac Dalpe and center Phil Varone from Rochester this morning.
The Sabres will have one surprise in the lineup, as defenseman Mike Weber, originally thought to be out two weeks, will return from an upper-body injury that sidelined him two games. He underwent surgery just days ago.
“Good enough,” Weber said about his condition.
He added: “I want to get out there. I’m a hockey player. I get paid to play hockey.”
Weber’s return means Nikita Zadorov, who was benched for missing a team meeting on Sunday morning, will be out a third straight game.
Nolan doesn’t want to make a change.
“We played pretty well the last couple games,” he said. “(Mark) Pysyk’s played exceptionally well.”
In other injury news, Nolan said defenseman Tyson Strachan (infection) skated this morning and could play Saturday.
Goalie Michal Neuvirth will make his seventh straight start tonight.
Here are today’s forward lines and defense combos from left to right:
– Matt Moulson, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Gionta; Chris Stewart, Brian Flynn, Marcus Foligno; Johan Larsson, Varone, Dalpe; Nick Deslauriers, Matt Ellis, Cody Hodgson.
– Andre Benoit-Zach Bogosian; Andrej Meszaros-Pysyk; Weber-Ristolainen.