The Sabres have been dealing with injuries to their top offensive players. Now they have to add one of their best defensemen to the list.
Zach Bogosian has a sprained knee and could miss a month. Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday morning it's a sprain of the medial collateral ligament, somewhere between a Grade 1 and 2, and Bogosian will be out "weeks."
"We played a good defensive team game, and Zach was a big part of that," Bylsma said in KeyBank Center. "That's something we're going to miss having him out of the lineup."
Bogosian, who had been in a top-four pair with Dmitry Kulikov, was skating 19 minutes per night. He'll be replaced by Casey Nelson, who hasn't played for the Sabres since the season opener Oct. 13. The Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"I'm really excited," Nelson said. "It's good to be back. I've learned a lot, but I think I've learned mentally how to stay in it.
"The guys have been helping me a lot, and I'm going to go into tonight with a lot of energy."
Nelson struggled in the opener, but he was impressive after signing late last season. He had four assists in seven games.
"His best games were last year playing for us," Bylsma said. "He played one game and maybe wasn't his best game, but what he has done in practice and shown in practice is he can be a great first-pass, head-up guy, good offensive hockey instincts from a D-man."