DETROIT -- You think the holiday break gave the Sabres a respite from all their bad news? Think again. Center Ryan O'Reilly had an appendectomy on Christmas Day in Buffalo General Hospital and will be out for 2-3 weeks.
O'Reilly, 25, has seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 27 games this season. He had previously missed six games earlier this season with an oblique injury and has just one goal in his last 11 games.
The Sabres confirmed a report in The Buffalo News about O'Reilly's situation during the morning today in Joe Louis Arena.
"The initial part is 10-14 days of healing time on the procedure and the lack thereof of an appendix," said coach Dan Bylsma. "It's roughly that period of time of rest and recovery and then getting back on the ice."
Under the terms of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, the Sabres have been off the last three days. Tonight's game against the Detroit Red Wings was scheduled to start around 7:30 but will actually be closer to 8 p.m. due to a pregame ceremony honoring Detroit's 1997 Stanley Cup champions.
The Sabres will not make a recall to replace O'Reilly for tonight's game. They have been carrying an extra forward on their roster; Nicolas Deslauriers was a healthy scratch for the team's most recent game Friday in Brooklyn and will return to the lineup tonight.
Sam Reinhart will move from wing to center, taking O'Reilly's spot with Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo
"He's a big piece of this team, there's no doubt about that," captain Brian Gionta said of O'Reilly. "But we've said all along guys have to step up, take that opportunity and fill that void. It has been tough here but by no means are we going to sit and make excuses about that."
While the injury is a blow for the Sabres, the timetable is consistent with other NHL players. Monteal captain Max Pacioretty missed four games and returned eight days after an appendectomy in January, 2013. Dallas star Jamie Benn missed five games and was out about two weeks following his procedure in January, 2012.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford had an appendectomy Dec. 3 and returned to the lineup Friday against Colorado.