The Buffalo Sabres practiced with 11 forwards Monday in KeyBank Center. It's possible they could keep that setup and then dress seven defensemen for their game Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild in KeyBank Center.
Coach Ralph Krueger indicated after practice a call-up could be coming from Rochester but that did not happen Monday night. Just like in Buffalo, things are getting pretty thin on the farm.
With Curtis Lazar, Rasmus Asplund and Tage Thompson already in Buffalo – and Thompson now on the injured list – Jean-Sebastien Dea and Andrew Oglevie are the only remaining Amerks on NHL contracts. If the Sabres make a move, Dea would be the likely choice.
Dea, 25, has seven goals and five assists in 16 games for the Amerks this season and is the top remaining scorer on the Rochester roster. He is a favorite of General Manager Jason Botterill from their time together in the Pittsburgh organization, with Dea having played parts of the last six seasons at the Penguins' Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm club in the AHL.
The organizational injury report issued Monday showed it's tough times in Rochester as well. Potential NHL call-ups C.J. Smith, Scott Wilson and Remi Elie are all out long-term with lower-body injuries. Smith is listed as out four to six weeks with Elie and Wilson as week to week.
Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, who has yet to play this year after hip surgery, has been upgraded to day to day. Of course, that would deepen the logjam on defense, where Buffalo already has eight healthy bodies.
"Obviously today I had another good skate and we're just taking it a day at a time," Bogosian said after practice Monday. "We're being cautious about it and anytime you come back from a situation like mine, it's smart to just take it day to day. But I'm feeling good so that's some positive news."
Bogosian filled out the lineup at forward in practice, skating with Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Asplund.
"It's just nice to be back out there to be honest with you," he said. "I love the game of hockey so much so as long as I'm out there playing with other guys, it's nice."
It's always dicey to make assumptions on coach Ralph Krueger's defense pairs based on practice because players are funneling through drills, but it looked like Marco Scandella will be the odd man out against his former team as he skated Monday with John Gilmour.
Scandella was burned badly on a couple of plays Sunday in Chicago, including Patrick Kane's second-period goal. The South Buffalo native beat Scandella to the spot off a faceoff and rifled a quick shot past Carter Hutton to give the Blackhawks a 3-0 lead.
Scandella's partner, Henri Jokiharju, was skating Monday with Colin Miller, who has been a healthy scratch the last three games. The other two pairs remained the same as Jake McCabe was with Rasmus Ristolainen and Rasmus Dahlin was with Brandon Montour.
Krueger said the Sabres are not currently considering an emergency recall from the junior ranks, which could have involved No. 1 draft pick Dylan Cozens from Lethbridge of the Western League or 2018 draftee Matej Pekar from Barrie of the Ontario League.
Cozens is tearing up the Western League, with 15 goals and 15 assists in the first 21 games for Lethbridge. His 30 points have him tied for third in the WHL in scoring. Pekar has 14 goals and 13 assists in 20 games for Barrie.
The Sabres will be facing the NHL's last-place club when Minnesota comes to town Tuesday. The Wild have just 16 points, despite a 4-1-2 record at home. That's because they are an NHL-worst 3-10-0 on the road.
The Sabres are just 3-9 at home against Minnesota, but a win Tuesday would give them a three-game winning streak against the Wild for the first time since they joined the NHL in 2000.
Former Sabres winger Marcus Foligno has missed the Wild's last four games and is out with a lower-body injury suffered Nov. 7 in San Jose. He has two goals and four assists in 16 games this season.