In the heat of the moment, Josh Gorges felt he didn’t do much wrong. After watching the replay, he can see why the referees gave him a boarding major with 43 seconds to play Friday night.
He’s relieved he’ll miss only that small amount of time. The NHL has decided against supplemental discipline, so the Sabres defenseman will be in the lineup Sunday when Buffalo visits the New York Islanders.
“It’s definitely what I was hoping,” Gorges said Saturday after practice in HarborCenter. “You’re never really sure till the next day, but watching it over and over again, from a couple angles it doesn’t look great.”
Gorges hit Philadelphia’s Matt Read from behind, and the forward hit the boards hard. Referees sent Gorges to the dressing room with the five-minute penalty and a game misconduct. Read wasn’t hurt and started the ensuing power play in Buffalo’s 3-1 victory.
“From replaying it in my head, he kind of got the inside position and turned himself to protect the puck. I tried to get on the other side,” Gorges said. “I gave him a little push, but I didn’t think I tried to go through him or put him in a vulnerable position.
“When you’re in the heat of the moment, I didn’t feel like I drove through his back or drove through his numbers as we were both going into the boards. It’s one of those plays where it happens really quick.”
While Gorges will play Sunday, Tyler Ennis’ status remains questionable. The Sabres’ top-line winger has missed two games with a lower-body injury and didn’t practice Saturday. Coach Dan Bylsma said Ennis will skate during the pregame warmup and the team will then decide his status.
Buffalo will not have a morning skate because two college hockey games are being held in Barclays Center during the day.
The Islanders may be without captain John Tavares. The center missed Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss in New Jersey because of illness.
“The last day or so he didn’t look right to me, and he definitely wasn’t right this morning when we got here,” Isles coach Jack Capuano told reporters. “So we made sure he got evaluated and got him out of here.”
The line of Ryan O’Reilly, Marcus Foligno and Nicolas Deslauriers combined for two goals, three assists and six hits Friday. Those are first-line numbers, but Bylsma doesn’t look at the group and think of a top line.
“We don’t see Deslauriers and Foligno and call it a first line, but it is for us right now,” Bylsma said. “They played within their games and within their strengths and have been effective at doing it.”
Deslauriers joined O’Reilly for a two-on-one and chipped in a goal, but Foligno drew the biggest kudos from the coach.
“Big, strong, powerful, moved his feet, obviously made the nice pass up to Ryan for the two-on-one,” Bylsma said. “He’s physical, gets in a fight. It was his best game by far.”