The Sabres had a quick, 45-minute practice Sunday in HarborCenter before heading to their charter en route to snowbound New York City. Airports there are opening and there were no issues expected getting to the Big Apple in advance of Monday's game against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden.
Zemgus Girgensons, who has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, skated fully on a line with Jack Eichel and Matt Moulson and should be good to go Monday. The Girgensons-Eichel duo built some chemistry in limited time together earlier this month with Brian Gionta, and coach Dan Bylsma hopes it can do something similar while working with the uber-slumping Moulson.
"I thought they were generating quite a bit of offense, scored some goals," Bylsma said. "Zemgus was generating maybe more offense than he had and that's what we hope putting them back together."
"He's a key player for us who brings a lot to the table so it will be great to have him back," Eichel said. "He plays a real straight-ahead game and you know what to expect. I really enjoy playing with him. We were able to connect a little bit, get some chemistry going. Hopefully he hits the ground running."
Girgensons has just three goals and five assists in 40 games, a far cry from the 15 goals and 30 points he totaled in just 61 games last year.
"I've never really been down on my confidence," said Girgensons. "It's been tough so far with the points but my game overall has been pretty good. I can create space for Jack. I can get on the forecheck and win some battles so it will be a little bit easier for him to get pucks to the net."
Defenseman Josh Gorges, who has missed two of the last three games, skated Sunday and will go on the trip. Bylsma said he hasn't decided if he will play. The Sabres will presumably send Cal O'Reilly back to Rochester to make room for Girgensons. Nic Deslauriers (foot) skated in a non-contact role Sunday, joining the team for the first time in three weeks.