BUFFALO, NY- Sabres center Ryan Ryan O'Reilly s close to returning to action, but he's not quite there yet. He suffered an oblique injury earlier this month and today was the first time he was on the ice with his teammates since then.
He won't play tonight against Calgary but there's a chance he could take the ice against Detroit Wednesday at the KeyBank Center. The Sabres medical staff advised him that another two days of rest would be best long term for him and the team.
After his teammates finished the morning skate O'Reilly spent at least another half hour on the ice getting some extra work in as he tries to return to the lineup.
"It’s tough. This month has been a pretty hectic month when every other day we’re playing as much as I want to come back, I’ve got to be smart here. It’s a long season. You’ve just got to be patient. I think if we’re in playoffs, it’s a different situation. There’s a lot of hockey left. Obviously it’s frustrating right now. We’re not where we want to be these last few games. We need to score goals and that’s one of my jobs and not being able to do it is frustrating but we’ve got a good staff here; I’ve got to trust them and be smart with it."
O'Reilly said the Wednesday match up against the Red Wings "is very doable and that's what I'm shooting for."
Head coach Dan Bylsma said O'Reilly is important to every facet of the Sabres team. "Ryan’s a lot of things to our team in a lot of areas and not just scoring but virtually every spot on the ice he’s a big part of. He’s a big part of what drives our team. We’ll get him back later in the week."
The Sabres hope their play against Pittsburgh, a 2-1 shootout win, carries over into tonight's game against the Flames. The Sabres feel they let one slip away in the first game against the Flames. Calgary won 4-3 in overtime when Sean Monahan scored at the 2:26 mark of overtime to give the Flames the come from behind win.
Face off is scheduled for 7-pm.