BUFFALO – Sabres winger Zemgus Girgensons, a steady presence on the fourth line this season, is sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury, coach Phil Housley said.
Girgensons, 24, has formed a strong duo beside center Johan Larsson, giving the Sabres some valuable minutes.
“Zemgus has done a terrific job,” Housley said this morning inside KeyBank Center. “I think with Larsson and him together, they have a unique chemistry, and whoever we put down there with them, they’re almost like a fix-it, so to speak.
“I just like the tenacity. They’re very reliable, trustworthy, taken a lot of D-zone starts, killing penalties, blocking shots. (They’re) doing all the things you don’t see in the paper but they’re really important to our team.”
The Sabres gave Girgensons the “week-to-week” label after he underwent more evaluation. Housley said Friday he was day-to-day.
With Girgensons out, winger Jason Pominville will return tonight against the Boston Bruins. An undisclosed injury cost Pominville three games after he collided with teammate Rasmus Ristolainen.
Meanwhile, in his first nine NHL games, Sabres rookie Lawrence Pilut has often looked impressive, generating offense and skating more than 20 minutes some nights.
But Pilut, who turns 23 on Sunday, struggled in Thursday’s 4-1 loss in St. Louis. So defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who was playing well before an upper-body injury shelved him five games, will replace the Swede.
“We got some fresh bodies in here that want to get an opportunity,” Housley said. “Lawrence has played very well. I think last game wasn’t his best game.”
In other lineup news, goalie Linus Ullmark is still feeling ill, so the Sabres recalled Scott Wedgewood from the Amerks this morning.
Wedgewood, 26, is 11-6-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts in 20 games with the Amerks this season.
After a posting a 31-save shutout in Wednesday’s 4-0 win against the Cleveland Monsters, Wedgewood made 35 saves in Friday’s 5-1 win against the Toronto Marlies.