The Sabres will be without their most physical player for up for five weeks.
Nicolas Deslauriers suffered a foot injury during Saturday’s game against Detroit, and coach Dan Bylsma said Monday the left winger will be out for three to five weeks. Deslauriers blocked shots by the Red Wings’ Brad Richards and Niklas Kronwall, then attended Buffalo’s bowling benefit Sunday with a walking boot, according to folks in attendance.
Deslauriers has three goals and seven points in 38 games. He leads the Sabres with 102 hits while playing 9:39 per night.
“Nick’s been a pretty annoying guy with those 10 minutes in being physical and being hard,” Bylsma said after practice in First Niagara Center. “We saw it be a factor in a number of games, against the Capitals and the game prior to that against Boston, and it’s something we’re going to miss in our lineup when he’s not here for this time period.”
Marcus Foligno will be expected to fill Deslauriers’ physical role, while Tim Schaller will take Deslauriers’ roster spot. The Sabres recalled the center from Rochester, and he will play in the middle of Foligno and David Legwand.
Schaller recorded four goals and eight points in his last eight games with the Amerks.
“I’ve been clicking with my linemates and putting the work in on and off the ice,” Schaller said. “It shows in the games, and they rewarded me by calling me up.”
Bylsma said injured defenseman Mark Pysyk could return this weekend. The Sabres host Florida on Tuesday before a three-game road trip to Chicago, Winnipeg and Minnesota.
“He’s had now four conditioning skates and three practices with the team, so he is very close to returning to play,” Bylsma said. “It may happen this weekend.”