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Sabres, short on defensemen, host Predators

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com

PREDATORS (39-13-7) at SABRES (17-38-4)

TV: FS-TN, MSG-B, BELL TV

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without Josh Gorges for the remainder of the season.

Sabres coach Ted Nolan announced Gorges will have surgery to repair a lower body injury and will miss the final 23 games of the season.

“Josh is going to have surgery, we’ll miss him for the remainder of the season for sure,” Nolan said. “He should be back ready and able for training camp.”

Gorges played 46 games in his first season with the Sabres with six assists. He was tied for fourth in the NHL with 148 blocked shots with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson. Gorges’ last appearance was Feb. 10 against the Ottawa Senators. He had no points and played 21:34.

Nolan also said Mike Weber will miss a minimum of two weeks with an upper body injury.

The Sabres have other problems on defense. Rookie Nikita Zadorov will not play because he violated team rules and Tyson Strachan will miss the game because of an infection.

“It’s just part of the growing process, but we’ll just have to deal with him,” Nolan said about Zadorov. “He’s a 19-year-old. Sometimes you’re mature in some things, sometimes you’re not unfortunately. So we’ll have to deal with him… It’s what we’re dealing with. It’s tough. It’s tough on the team overall.”

Nolan said they’ll recall two defensemen from Rochester of the American Hockey League to replace Strachan and Zadorov. Michal Neuvirth was the first goalie off the ice after the team skated on Sunday and is expected to start.

The Nashville Predators did not skate on Sunday. They lost 3-2 in a shootout to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Carter Hutton is expected to start against the Sabres after Pekka Rinne made 31 saves in the loss to Philadelphia.

Here are the projected lineups:

PREDATORS

Colin WilsonMike RibeiroJames Neal

Filip ForsbergMike FisherCraig Smith

Matt CullenCalle JarnkrokMike Santorelli

Eric NystromPaul GaustadGabriel Bourque

Roman JosiShea Weber

Mattias EkholmCody Franson

Victor BartleySeth Jones

Carter Hutton

Pekka Rinne

Scratched: Taylor Beck, Anthony Bitetto

Injured: Ryan Ellis (lower body), Anton Volchenkov (lower body)

SABRES

Chris StewartZemgus GirgensonsTyler Ennis

Matt MoulsonTorrey MitchellBrian Gionta

Marcus FolignoBrian FlynnNicolas Deslauriers

Johan LarssonMatt EllisCody Hodgson

Andre BenoitZach Bogosian

Jake McCabeRasmus Ristolainen

Andrej MeszarosMark Pysyk

Michal Neuvirth

Anders Lindback

Scratched: Nikita Zadorov, Tyson Strachan

Injured: Mike Weber (lower body), Patrick Kaleta (lower body), Josh Gorges (lower body), Cody McCormick (blood clot)

Status Report: The Sabres recalled defensemen McCabe and Pysyk from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

Who’s Hot: Neuvirth has made 138 saves on 146 shots in his past four consecutive starts. … Smith has a three-game point streak and has three goals and two assists in that time. Ribeiro has four assists during his three-game point streak. Neal has scored a goal in two straight games.

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