Is Mattias Samuelsson playing tomorrow? Latest on the Buffalo Sabres injury report

The Buffalo Sabres may be missing Mattias Samuelsson and another key player as they head into San Jose for their California finale against the Sharks.
Dec 31 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson (23) skates with the
Dec 31 2023; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Mattias Samuelsson (23) skates with the / Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
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Mattias Samuelsson has once again been one of the Buffalo Sabres most physical blueliners, and he’s well on pace to set career-highs in hits with 83, and blocks, having amassed 86 so far this season. While not known for his offense, Samuelsson also has a game-winning goal to his credit this season and seven points, along with a plus-4 rating. 

Thanks to an upper-body injury, however, Samuelsson will not play tomorrow night, nor will Zemgus Girgensons, nor Erik Johnson, which Mike Harrington of Buffalo News shared on X (formerly Twitter).

Losing Samuelsson and Johnson for Saturday’s game means the Sabres must once again get creative with their defensive pairings. Rasmus Dahlin paired with the recently-recalled Jacob Bryson in the Sabres win over the Los Angeles Kings, so we will see if that trend continues tomorrow. 

Samuelsson, Girgensons will miss Buffalo Sabres California finale

Since he arrived in Buffalo, Samuelsson has had a tough time staying healthy, and it’s limited him to just 55 games last season and 41 this year. If there is any solace for the 2023-24 season, it’s that he’s managed to avoid being out with an ailment for an extended period, so let’s hope that’s the case once again. 

Overall, expect Jacob Bryson back in the lineup tomorrow night as the former full-time Sabre looks to show he still deserves a look in the NHL. If Samuelsson does miss extended time, then we will likely see Bryson in a Buffalo Sabres uniform past the All-Star Break. 

As for Girgensons’ replacement, we will see either Zach Benson or Victor Olofsson, who, also per Harrington, were both part of the fourth line in practice. Girgensons has found himself banged up a few times this season, and it limited him to just 31 games so far. 

Tomorrow will be the Sabres last game until February 6th, when they face off vs. the Dallas Stars, so we will keep tabs on Samuelsson and Girgensons, while Johnson should be ready to roll. 

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(Other information provided by Hockey-Reference)