Is Jeff Skinner playing tomorrow? Latest on the Buffalo Sabres injury report vs. the Lightning

The Buffalo Sabres have been hot lately, but they are facing a Tampa Bay Lightning squad that is riding a four-game winning streak.

Buffalo Sabres v Tampa Bay Lightning
Buffalo Sabres v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

The Buffalo Sabres are just two points away from 0.500, and they have enjoyed an excellent calendar year against their in-state Florida rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning. But the injury bug has also hit the Blue and Gold hard once again as quite a few players either missed practice or took part in Friday’s skate, but may not be good to go for Saturday’s matinee.

Jeff Skinner, who has not played since the Sabres loss to the Seattle Kraken on January 9th, skated today, per Jourdon LaBarber of, so it’s at least a step in the right direction. LaBarber also revealed that Mattias Samuelsson, who missed the previous two contests, was also practicing, along with Henri Jokiharju, who was banged up in last night’s contest vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.

We also learned, unfortunately, that Dylan Cozens was still shelved on Friday, plus Erik Johnson, who like Jokiharju also sustained an injury on Thursday night. 

Buffalo Sabres may be down a few skaters in a pivotal game vs. Lightning

Per the Sabres latest update on Thursday afternoon, it’s still unclear whether any of the aforementioned players will suit up for tomorrow’s contest. Therefore, the Sabres could indeed find themselves shorthanded vs. what has been a good Tampa Bay Lightning team this season. 

If that’s the case, then the playmakers must bring a little extra to the table tomorrow to put the Blue and Gold in a position to win and continue to get this team back on track. A win tomorrow would be especially important since the Lightning are currently sitting in the second wild card spot with 51 points, and a victory would inch the Buffalo Sabres a little closer to Tampa and the other top wild card contenders. 

So let’s hold out hope Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson will at least return to the lineup, and that Henri Jokiharju also won’t miss any time. If Skinner returns, Buffalo will have their top goal-scorer back, while Jokiharju and Samuelsson’s presence will give the Sabres their best possible defensive rotation.