By John Vogl
DENVER -- Matt Moulson, one of the Sabres' top scorers and trade subjects, is likely out until after the Olympic break with an upper-body injury.
"He took a pretty good bang last night, so it looks possibly that he’ll be out till after the Olympic break," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said this afternoon. "I think we only have four or five games left, so it could be in the last part of it, but more than likely after the Olympic break."
Moulson was injured with six minutes left in the Sabres' 3-2 win over Phoenix and was still in pain well after the game ended.
"I was just hoping he got the puck in, then all of a sudden, I watched it afterwards, a little whack on the stick and a hit into the boards," Nolan said in the team hotel. "It was just one of those freaky things that happened.
"It’s definitely an upper-body injury that’s going to keep him out. He was pretty sore after the game last night, but it doesn’t look like it’s really too, too serious. If he’s a fast mender, you never know."
Moulson had an assist Thursday to boost his season totals to 15 goals and 33 points in 51 games.
The pending unrestricted free agent is one of the Sabres' biggest trade assets. There are two roster freezes coming, including next Friday for the Olympic break. It's unlikely someone will trade for him before then without knowing a concrete timetable for recovery.
The Sabres have four games between the end of the Olympic break and the March 5 trade deadline, which should allow suitors to gauge Moulson's status for a trade.
Nolan also said Drew Stafford will not be ready to play Saturday when the Sabres visit the Colorado Avalanche. Brian Flynn is expected to take Moulson's spot on the top line.