Tage Thompson has played all 72 games this season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson will likely keep gutting out injury

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson can’t do more damage to his undisclosed injury by playing with it.

“As long as he can fight through it, tolerate any pain that there might be, the decision is his (whether to play),” coach Don Granato told reporters Saturday in New York following the Sabres’ 2-0 win over the Islanders. “With the tolerance threshold, only he knows.”

Thompson, who was injured when he collided with Timo Meier early in Friday’s 5-4 home win over the New Jersey Devils, chose to play against the Islanders.

Of course, the Sabres’ leading scorer wasn’t his normal self. He started the pregame warm-up before leaving the ice and returning. Still, he managed 17 minutes, 3 seconds of ice time and pumped two shots on goal. He did not take any faceoffs.

Thompson, whose Sabres host the Montreal Canadiens tonight at KeyBank Center, will likely be gutting out more efforts over the season’s final 10 games.

“He obviously, wasn’t full go and I know he had some pain, and he loves the game that much that it’s worth it to fight through pain,” Granato said. “Obviously, we benefit from having him in those spots.”

Thompson has scored 44 goals this season, the Sabres’ highest total since Alexander Mogilny (76) and Pat LaFontaine (53) in 1992-93. He needs one more point to become the Sabres’ first player to crack the 90-point mark since Daniel Briere registered 95 in 2006-07.

Only Thompson and winger Casey Mittelstadt have played all 72 games for the Sabres this season.

With Thompson questionable Saturday and wingers Jordan Greenway (upper body) and Vinnie Hinostroza (personal reasons) unavailable, the Sabres recalled forward prospect Lukas Rousek from the Rochester Americans.

Rousek, 23, skated in pregame warm-up but did not make his NHL debut. The Sabres sent him back to the Amerks on Sunday, and he recorded an assist in their 5-2 win over the Cleveland Monsters.

The Czech’s recall marked the first time this season the Sabres summoned a forward prospect from the AHL. They’ve remained remarkably healthy up front, and when they needed help earlier, they recalled three veterans: Hinostroza, Anders Bjork and Riley Sheahan.

The 5-foot-11, 191-pound Rousek has enjoyed a strong season in Rochester, registering 15 goals and 49 points in 62 games.

Granato said the Sabres have “looked forward to having him up here.”

“Scrappy, very good situational awareness, hockey sense,” he said. “Good combination of grit and skill.”

Eric Comrie’s shutout Saturday was the second of his 46-game NHL career. In his last outing March 9, the Sabres goalie made 39 saves but still allowed 10 goals in an embarrassing loss to the Dallas Stars.

Comrie, who stopped 26 shots against the Islanders, suffered a lower-body injury in practice following the Dallas game and missed the next six contests.

“We owed him big time for the last game,” Sabres captain Kyle Okposo told reporters. “Just happy for a guy like that. He’s such a great guy, he cares so much about his teammates. He never has a bad day. Ever. We just felt for him. So it was great to see the zero.”

The Sabres had Sunday off.

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