The Sabres will have two starting defensemen back in their lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Washington Capitals.
Head coach Dan Bylsma has confirmed that Dmitry Kulikov and Josh Gorges are both ready to go and will play tonight.
Kulikov has missed 13 games and was expected to return this week. Gorges, however, wasn’t supposed to be back soon. Initial reports had him missing weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his foot. He may have to deal with some pain, but he’s been cleared to play.
“It feels pretty good,” Gorges said. “I’m not dealing with anything that’s hindering me or keeping me from feeling 100 percent when I’m skating.”
With these two moves, Brendan Guhle has no choice but to be sent back, and Justin Falk will head down to Rochester.
Bylsma saw potential in Guhle and knows that he will be back at the NHL level:
“I think there was significant evidence and proof that he showed Guhle can play at this level, showed he could play against those types of players. At the same time, he’s a 19-year-old kid. You know there’s going to be some ups and downs in his game over the course of his career. He did a pretty remarkable job of stepping in a tough situation, a tough spot and showing he could play and contribute.” – Dan Bylsma
There are still some question marks surrounding tonight’s lineup as Nicolas Deslauriers is ready to play, but Bylsma has not confirmed he will be starting.
Robin Lehner will get the start in goal against the Capitals’ backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who allowed one goal on 33 shots in his last time out vs. the Sabres. In his career, he’s 1-0-2 with a 1.08 GAA and .957 save percentage against Buffalo.
Tonight’s game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. puck drop.