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Sabres Notebook: Josefson could return to lineup

The injury list is finally growing shorter for the Buffalo Sabres.

After taking the morning skate on Monday, center Jacob Josefson was back in KeyBank Center fully participating in the team's practice.

Josefson missed 15 games with an ankle injury he suffered during a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 15.

"I kinda tweaked my ankle," Josefson said when asked what happened against the Ducks. "I had an ankle sprain. Took a while to get it ready to heal."

The 26-year-old, who signed as a free agent over the summer, was injured in the sixth game of the season and is still looking for his first points.

"I only played like five games but I was starting to get my feet under me a little bit," Josefson said. "I was feeling better and better so obviously it was not fun to have an injury come in there. ... Obviously I'm very anxious to play so I'm hoping I can bring a lot of energy. Hopefully it's good to get some fresh legs in there."

At Tuesday's practice, Josefson skated on a line with Jordan Nolan and Kyle Okposo.

Head coach Phil Housley said Josefson "could be a possibility" in Wednesday's lineup against the Minnesota Wild. "We'll see how he reacts to practice. I thought he looked really good out there. Lot of speed."

Housley said when Josefson was in the lineup he provided "stabilization down through the middle, somebody that you can trust playing in any situation, especially on our penalty kill. He can relieve some minutes off our top guys. He provides speed and positionally he’s one of the best on our team, just knowing where to be in the situation."

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There was some more playing around with the lines as the Sabres desperately look for more offense.

Jack Eichel was back at center with Evander Kane and Jason Pominville. Ryan O'Reilly centered Benoit Pouliot and Sam Reinhart while Johan Larsson was between Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Criscuolo.

Matt Moulson and Seth Griffith were the extra forwards.

On defense, the pairings were: Marco Scandella with Justin Falk, Jake McCabe with Victor Antipin, and Josh Gorges with Nathan Beaulieu. Casey Nelson was the extra defenseman.

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The big jersey reveal for the 2018 Winter Classic is expected on Wednesday, but the Buffalo Sabre released some snippets through the "MyOneBuffalo" app on Tuesday. The Sabres will play the New York Rangers in the 10th annual outdoor game on Jan. 1 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.

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The holiday season begins at KeyBank Center Wednesday as the Sabres announced participation in two programs.

The Salvation Army will launch its annual holiday kettle drive before Wednesday's game at KeyBank Center. The signature fundraiser aids those in need in the Buffalo area. The Amherst Knights youth hockey team will be at arena entrances with kettles to collect donations.

The Sabres have also partnered with Catholic Charities of Buffalo for the Sabres Holiday Angels program that allows fans to adopt a family in need.

Fans have four ways to become involved: 1. Adopt a family. Fans who register at sabres.com/holidayangels will receive information with details about the family they have chosen to support and buy gifts for. 2. Donate individual gifts. The items will be matched to a person or family in need by Catholic Charities. 3. Donate wrapping paper and wrapping accessories. 4. Donate gift cards.

Unwrapped gifts are due by Thursday, Dec. 14 and can be dropped off at Catholic Charities Montante Administrative Center (741 Delaware Ave.), Catholic Charities Lackawanna Pantry (75 Caldwell Place, Lackawanna) or Catholic Charities Town Square Food Pantry (2710 North Forest Road, Getzville). Gifts can also be brought to the Sabres Alumni Plaza outside KeyBank Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 14.

Gift cards may be mailed directly to Catholic Charities Parish Outreach and Advocacy, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, N.Y., 14209.

For more information, contact Lauren Maguire at 218-1400 extension 2006 or via email at lauren.maguire@ccwny.org.

 
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