Buffalo Sabres center Paul Gaustad, who has missed the past five games with an upper-body injury, skated on a regular line today and could rejoin the team Tuesday when they host the Washington Capitals.
Gaustad centered right wing Ales Kotalik and left wing Adam Mair in HSBC Arena. He was scheduled to follow that up with visit to team doctors, who would determine whether they will clear him to come back.
"Paul’s close," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "He’ll be evaluated today and there’s a possibility he’ll play tomorrow."
Gaustad is coming back to a team that won its last game but squandered a two-goal lead in the final two minutes. The Sabres have had third-period leads in three of the last four games, and they allowed Montreal, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders to force overtime.
In other injury news, defenseman Craig Rivet's status has improved to "day to day" from "two weeks to two weeks." The captain has missed eight games with a sore shoulder.