Paul Gaustad and Nathan Gerbe are ready to return to the Buffalo Sabres. Patrick Kaleta isn't even close.
Gaustad and Gerbe will be in the lineup tonight when the Sabres host Washington in HSBC Arena. Both were nursing upper-body injuries, which cost Gaustad five games and Gerbe six.
Andrew Peters and Maxim Afinogenov are expected to be scratched to make room.
Kaleta, meanwhile, will be spending the next three weeks with a hard brace on his neck. He was injured Dec. 19 when unexpectedly punched by Los Angeles defenseman Denis Gauthier. (The isolation of the incident on the video below starts at about the 57-second mark.)
"It's a neck injury that needs to be stabilized, and he'll be in that hard collar," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said today. "He can still work out and probably skate, but his neck has to be immobilized."
As the coach walked away he added: "From a sucker punch."