BUFFALO, N.Y. — – Sabres starting goalie Linus Ullmark will miss at least the next month with a lower-body injury, leaving Buffalo with one established netminder.
High-priced forward Jeff Skinner, however, is set to return after being a healthy scratch the past three games. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen will play 3 1/2 weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 and spent two weeks in the NHL’s coronavirus protocol.
Forward Tobias Rieder will return after missing two games with an upper-body injury.
Krueger wouldn’t reveal details of Ullmark’s injury in calling it “a huge loss.”
Ullmark has a 5-4-2 record and was coming off a 41-save outing in a 4-1 win at New Jersey on Tuesday.
Eichel was a late scratch after participating in pregame warmups on Thursday.
Skinner’s return comes amid questions of whether he and Krueger see eye to eye while the 11th-year player and seven-time 20-goal-scorer is in the midst of a slump.
In the second season of an eight-year, $72 million contract, Skinner has one assist in 14 games this season, and not scored in 18 games dating to last season.
“Hopefully, this proves to be a good little regroup to launch and excellent rest of the season for Jeff,” Krueger said.
Ristolainen had a severe bout with COVID-19 in which he experienced chest pains and fatigue. He will bolster a blue-line group that lost Jake McCabe (right knee) and Will Borgen (broken right forearm) this past week.