BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres lost 5-2 to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday to drop to 7-8-1 on the season, but the worst news of the night was that Tage Thompson left due to injury. After the game, Sabres coach Don Granato said Thompson is going to miss “probably significant time” after a shot hit him in the wrist area while he was killing a penalty with Buffalo trailing 4-0.
That injury was Thompson’s second of the game. He left the ice early with a cut on his leg but returned to play through that. The second injury is not one he can play through, though.
Thompson is a huge loss for the Sabres, who are struggling to find the goal-scoring touch that helped them finish third in the NHL in scoring a year ago. Thompson had 47 goals and 47 assists last season and started this season with six goals and six assists in the 15 games prior to this one.
Buffalo has already been playing without Jack Quinn and dealt with separate absences of Dylan Cozens and Alex Tuch in the early part of the season. Tuch is expected to return Friday, but Thompson’s absence is one the Sabres are going to have to deal with. Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt will take on bigger roles in Buffalo’s lineup with Thompson out.
A look at the Tage Thompson injury as he blocked the puck with his glove…
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“They’re going to have to,” Granato said. “I think those are two guys that have a track record of responding to adversity and challenge and this is a much greater challenge now presented to them and to us as a group. Obviously we’re down Quinn, we’re down Tuch, we’re down Thompson. The hope is to get Tuch back, but at the center position specifically, Mittelstadt and Cozens will need to rise in this situation. Their track record has shown that they’ve done that.”
The Sabres may also need to look to call up a forward from AHL Rochester to add some depth with Thompson out. Brandon Biro had previously been called up this season, and 2022 first-round pick Jiri Kulich has also started the season strong in the AHL. Rookie Zach Benson returned to practice this week and could return to the lineup soon.
Even so, this is a tough blow for a team already off to a sluggish start to the season.
(Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig / USA Today)