First line center Ryan O’Reilly won’t be joining his team, the Buffalo Sabres, on the ice for their tilt today against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In fact, given head coach Dan Bylsma’s willingness to talk about it after the game, it’s looking like he may be out for several games.
Ryan O'Reilly is out today … Dan Bylsma will have an update after the game. Sounds like this could be more than a game. #Sabres
— Bill Hoppe (@BillHoppeNHL) February 21, 2016
O’Reilly has been a revelation for the Sabres’ offense. Since he was traded from the Colorado Avalanche last summer, the 24-year-old O’Reilly has put up 49 points (17G, 32A) in 59 games on one of the worst teams in the league. Currently, the Buffalo Sabres sit 26th in the NHL standings, though they are coming off a 4-0 shutout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Still, their overall offense is hurting, with just 2.37 goals per game, which is 27th in the league.
To fill the gap on the roster, the team recalled prospect Justin Bailey from the Sabres’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. The 20-year-old second round draft pick was selected by the Sabres in 2013. This will only be his 5th ever NHL game, and he has recorded zero points, two penalty minutes, and has a minus-1 plus-minus rating. It’s likely that Bailey will slot into the bottom six today, given he has averaged just under 12 minutes per contest with the club.