When the Buffalo Sabres took the ice Monday, four of their top eight defensemen were still absent. That may not be the case much longer.
Coach Phil Housley said Nathan Beaulieu and Josh Gorges could return to practice this week, and Zach Bogosian has skated on his own the past few days.
"The bottom line is it's good to see the guys are starting to get healthy now," Housley said in KeyBank Center. "We've been depleted back there. It's given other guys opportunities, but it's good to see we're getting close to healthy."
The Sabres have already used 10 defensemen this season, which is part of the reason they're 4-8-2. They will still be testing their depth chart Tuesday when Washington visits. Rasmus Ristolainen didn't practice Monday, so he could miss his second straight game.
Here are Housley's updates on Buffalo's banged-up players, none of which skated with the team:
* Ristolainen (upper body) – "Rasmus is still day to day."
* Bogosian (lower body) – "Zach skated. He's moved back to day to day now with his injury. He's making progress. He's been skating now two or three days, which is encouraging."
* Beaulieu (upper body) – "Nate Beaulieu skated. He'll probably join us in practice this week, so that was encouraging."
* Forward Justin Bailey (lower body) – "He's still day to day."
* Gorges (lower body) – "Josh Gorges has made some great strides. He's been skating, and he'll probably join us for practice this week."
* Forward Evan Rodrigues (hand) – "He has been skating, but his situation with his hand, upper-body injury, it's taking a little bit longer."
* Forward Jacob Josefson (foot) – "Joey hasn't skated yet, so his lower-body injury is more of a week-to-week still situation."