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Reinhart to travel to Long Island, could play Tuesday

News and notes from Monday's practice at KeyBank Center

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Sam Reinhart will travel with the Sabres to Long Island and could be available for their game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, coach Ralph Krueger said.

Reinhart did not participate in practice on Monday after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury. He has three goals and six points in eight games this season.

"We're just still evaluating, but we're hoping that he'll be available tomorrow," Krueger said.

Casey Mittelstadt practiced alongside Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson in Reinhart's absence. Mittelstadt played his second game of the season on Sunday, skating 10:40 and earning a shift as an extra attacker when the Sabres attempted a 6-on-5 push to tie the game late during the third period.

Krueger has spoken highly of Mittelstadt since the beginning of training camp, reiterating that the organization saw Mittelstadt as Rochester's highest performing forward when the 2019-20 season ended. Mittelstadt had been sent to the Amerks to round out his two-way game and then used the elongated offseason to add strength and speed.

Video: AFTER PRACTICE: Krueger

"I think his offseason program has helped increase his foot speed," Krueger said. "He looks lighter on his skates and has not at all sacrificed in the skill set that he has. So, what's important is he is definitely a future offensive threat, a power-play player, a playmaker with a scoring ability."

Whether or not Mittelstadt plays Tuesday could depend on Reinhart's availability, but Krueger said the Sabres do expect to give him another look in the near future.

"Obviously no one wants to have that long of an offseason but to some degree it was good for me," Mittelstadt said. "Just because I've always needed to get in the weight room and it gave me a little extra time to do that and kind of catch up in some sense."

 

Flight delay

The Sabres will depart for Long Island on Tuesday morning rather than Monday afternoon due to the winter storm currently hitting New York City. Krueger said the team is looking to take advantage of the extra time at home before a long road trip.

"We're trying to make this a positive," Krueger said. "The guys can spend an afternoon at home and we do a same-day trip. It'll be with early arrival, so we'll have time to activate in the hotel, which is right by the arena, walking distance away. … We are fine with it. Sometimes a shakeup or a mix-up kind of brings a refreshing entry into a road game. So, we've definitely embraced this situation."

 

Reinforcements

Video: PRACTICE REPORT

The Sabres' four-game, seven-day road trip to Long Island and Boston will be its longest of the season thus far. The Sabres previously played four straight road games in Philadelphia and Washington but returned home for a day in between.

Teams are limited strictly to their traveling party (the active roster plus the taxi squad) while on the road this season, meaning no recalls from Rochester once the flight takes off. With that in mind, the Sabres added to the depth of their taxi squad by recalling forwards Jean-Sebastien Dea and C.J. Smith on Monday.

Jack Quinn, who has been recovering from an injury, was assigned from the taxi squad to Rochester in a corresponding move.

"They've had a really good camp here thus far with Seth Appert in Rochester and are both NHL experienced players we could inject at any time," Krueger said of Dea and Smith. "Both good skaters, energy players."

The additions should give the Sabres ample bodies for the trip. The active roster currently includes two extra forwards (assuming Reinhart is available) and an extra defenseman. The taxi squad now has two forwards (Dea and Smith), two defensemen (Will Borgen and Brandon Davidson), and goaltender Jonas Johansson.

"We will need to look at these back-to-backs even when there's a day in between," Krueger said. "What is the energy level of our players? How are guys performing? Would it be good to possibly give somebody a day off? Again, I want to underline that we do assess the roster every night and every morning before we make a final decision and these factors are coming in more and more."

 

Monday's practice

Here's how the Sabres lined up in Reinhart's absence:

37 Casey Mittelstadt - 9 Jack Eichel - 68 Victor Olofsson
4 Taylor Hall - 12 Eric Staal - 24 Dylan Cozens
13 Tobias Rieder - 20 Cody Eakin - 21 Kyle Okposo
53 Jeff Skinner - 27 Curtis Lazar - 15 Riley Sheahan
72 Tage Thompson

19 Jake McCabe - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
26 Rasmus Dahlin - 62 Brandon Montour
33 Colin Miller - 10 Henri Jokiharju
44 Matt Irwin - 3 William Borgen

35 Linus Ullmark
40 Carter Hutton
34 Jonas Johansson

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