BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin made it clear he’s ready to play.
“I’m feeling really, really, really, really good today, so it’s all good,” said Dahlin, who missed Thursday’s 3-1 road win over the Boston Bruins with a nagging lower-body injury.
When Dahlin spoke this morning, he said he still needed approval to return tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. Coach Don Granato later confirmed he will play.
Dahlin said he battled through the injury until he needed to rest.
“I played with it for a while, it just got worse every day pretty much,” he said in KeyBank Center. “So I had to stay away from the ice for a couple days to let it heal. But now I’m ready to roll.”
With Dahlin back, Granato said rookie defenseman Ryan Johnson will be scratched.
Dahlin skated alongside Henri Jokiharju this morning. Granato wants to keep the defense tandem of Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson, Dahlin’s regular partner, together following a strong outing in Boston.
“We did like what we saw the other night,” Granato said of the duo.
In other news, Granato said winger Zemgus Girgensons hasn’t progressed in his recovery from a lower-body injury.
“He was probably a week or so away,” he said. “It might be a little more than that.”
Meanwhile, Granato said wingers Alex Tuch (possible hamstring injury) and Jordan Greenway (upper body) could play later in Buffalo’s road trip next week.
He also said the Sabres expect goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who has been out sick, will go on the trip. Luukkonen skated with his teammates this morning.