As the Buffalo Sabres were wrapping up an optional practice Friday, concussed forward Tyler Ennis walked by with a smile, helmet and pair of skates. When his teammates were done, he took some light laps around the HarborCenter rink.
He’s not close to returning, but he’s at least making a step toward it.
Ennis, who has been out since colliding with Alex Ovechkin on Dec. 30 in Washington, began skating Thursday and followed it up with Friday’s twirl alongside development coach Dennis Miller.
“It’s moderated,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “His heart rate is restricted. He’s gone through some progressions of exercise. He progressed to skating yesterday on the ice and again today, so he’s made some good improvements. Still not one where he can go all-out on the ice.”
Left wing Marcus Foligno, meanwhile, is joining Ennis on the sidelines. He suffered a lower-body with six minutes to play in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Bruins and will miss Saturday’s rematch in Boston. The Sabres have not yet announced a callup.
“It could be two, three days that we’re looking at this injury,” Bylsma said. “I don’t anticipate it to be week-to-week.”