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Sabres Notebook: Defenseman Zach Bogosian day to day with upper-body injury

Zach Bogosian's availability is in question after an upper-body injury prevented the Buffalo Sabres defenseman from practicing Wednesday in KeyBank Center.

Bogosian did not return for the third period of the Sabres' 2-0 loss to Dallas on Tuesday and finished with only 13 minutes, 32 seconds of ice time. Coach Phil Housley told reporters following practice that the team expected to receive more information about Bogosian's status Wednesday afternoon.

Casey Nelson will draw back into the lineup if Bogosian is unavailable to play Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We'll know more later on today but it's still a day-to-day situation," Housley said.

Bogosian, 28, has three goals among 17 points with a minus-2 rating in 61 games this season. He has missed eight games because of injury, including the Sabres' 4-3 loss to Edmonton on March 4, and was one of three Sabres to not record a shot on goal against Dallas.

Nelson, 26, has appeared in only three games since Dec. 4, spending more than a month as a healthy scratch after his conditioning assignment in Rochester. He played three consecutive games -- including only 13 minutes, 21 seconds during a 3-0 loss in Colorado on Saturday -- before Housley scratched him Tuesday for "mainly" performance reasons.

Housley acknowledged there was a conversation about how Nelson responded immediately after Colorado's Nikita Zadorov's hit to the head on Jack Eichel. Nelson was paired with Marco Scandella during practice Wednesday, while Brandon Montour skated with Rasmus Dahlin and Rasmus Ristolainen remained with Matt Hunwick.

Dahlin, an 18-year-old rookie, played 24 minutes, 50 seconds against the Stars with Bogosian out and has seen his ice time gradually increase throughout the season. He averaged 18 minutes, 41 seconds during October, compared to 22 minutes, 18 seconds over the past 49 games.

"The one thing I really like about Rasmus is his battle level," Housley said of Dahlin. "His compete, game in and game out, has been good. Throughout an 82-game season you're going to have your ups and downs. Right to the end, in the game last night, he's still battling. He's keeping pucks in and he's fighting, and he's a very competitive player."

Youth movement

Consecutive shutout losses led Housley to place Tage Thompson, Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Nylander on the same line during Wednesday's practice.

All three are former first-round draft picks and are 21 years old or younger. They also combined for eight shots on goal against Dallas, including four from Thompson.

"I’ve really liked what they brought," Housley said. "They’re creating. They used their speed and were attacking the game and we need more of it."

Additionally, Sam Reinhart skated with Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary, while Jeff Skinner was placed with Vladimir Sobotka and Jason Pominville.

Amerks sign defenseman

Sabres assistant general manager Randy Sexton announced Wednesday that Rochester signed defenseman Kurt Gosselin, a college free agent from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, to a two-way, AHL contract for 2019-20.

Gosselin, 24, will join the Cincinnati Cyclones on an amateur tryout for the rest of this season. He played in 118 career college games, scoring 20 goals with 38 assists.

Mittelstadt's brother

Luke Mittelstadt, the 16-year-old brother of Casey, is among the 52 players born in 2003 to be considered for the 2019-20 U.S. National Under-17 Team. A defenseman for Eden Prairie High School near Minneapolis, Luke will compete in a four-day evaluation camp this month, which will determine the roster for next year.

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