Sabres down 4 defensemen for game against Predators
Feb. 23, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres' defensive ranks are suddenly depleted after playing without four regulars in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
Veteran Josh Gorges requires season-ending surgery for a nagging lower-body injury. Mike Weber will miss at least two weeks after having minor surgery for an upper-body injury sustained in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday. And defenseman Tyson Strachan was out because of an infection.
Then there's rookie Nikita Zadorov, who was scratched after he violated a team rule, according to coach Ted Nolan, who provided the updates before the game.
A person familiar with what happened told The Associated Press that Zadorov showed up late for a team meeting Sunday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Nolan did not disclose what rule Zadorov broke.
Nolan described the benching as "part of the growing process," and added the player's maturity was an issue.
"He's a 19-year-old. Sometimes you're mature in certain things, and sometimes you're not," Nolan said. "Unfortunately, it's something we'll have to deal with."
Following the game, Nolan said he planned to talk to Zadorov before determining when he can resume playing.
This marks the second time this month the 2013 first-round draft pick has been disciplined by the Sabres. Zadorov was held out against St. Louis on Feb. 5 after he was late reporting to the team coming out of the All-Star break as a result of travel issues.
With three goals and 10 assists in 42 games, Zadorov's 13 points are tied for the team lead among defensemen. He is also averaging just over 19 minutes of ice time.
The Sabres scrambled to plug the holes by calling up defensemen Mark Pysyk and Jake McCabe from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The news on Gorges did not come as a surprise. The 10-year veteran had missed the past four games while having his injury evaluated.
Without disclosing the nature of the injury, Nolan said the decision was made for Gorges to have surgery and be ready for the start of next season.
Acquired in a trade with Montreal in June, Gorges had six assists in 46 games, and is second on the team in averaging 22:21 minutes of ice time.
The team learned of Strachan's infection when the player arrived at the arena for a pre-game skate.
The Sabres play at Columbus on Tuesday.