The Buffalo Sabres are getting closer to having a pair of forwards back in the lineup in Paul Gaustad and Mike Grier.
Gaustad skated with the team for the first time since Nov. 27, after suffering a leg injury in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Head Coach Lindy Ruff said there is no timetable for the center’s return, but said he is progressing.
“Today was the first day with putting the brace on and going out for a little skate,” he said. “Nothing too strenuous.”
Gaustad said he was on the ice briefly yesterday, but did not skate with any gear on.
“I’m just taking it a day at a time I guess,” he said. “The doctors cleared me to skate a little bit and we’ll see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, Grier could be in the lineup as early as Saturday when the Sabres travel to New York to take on the Rangers.
Grier has missed the last two games due to a family sickness, flying home to be with his mother.
The Sabres participated in a short practice on Thursday, preparing to take on the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night at HSBC Arena.
The lines remained intact, with the exception of Tim Connolly.
Connolly did not finish practice after feeling some hip pain according to Ruff.
“We anticipate him playing,” Ruff said of the center. “He just got off, didn’t want to make it any worse.”
Hecht – Kennedy – Pominville
Stafford – Roy – Gerbe
Vanek – [Connolly] – MacArthur
Mair – Ellis – Kaleta