Dustin Byfuglien hobbled during Sunday’s game

The Winnipeg Jets probably need to accept the possibility that their defense won’t ever be 100 percent in 2013. Underrated blueliner Tobias Enstrom was sidelined during the same game that Zach Bogosian returned and now it looks like All-Star behemoth Dustin Byfuglien is injured – again.

It’s unclear what the specific injury is.

Still, it looks like something was plaguing him throughout much of Sunday’s 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils; the Winnipeg Free Press’ Ed Tait reports that Byfuglien was struggling during much of the game and could barely make it to the bench before heading for the locker room.

Byfuglien, 27, sat out five games between Jan. 29 and Feb. 12 with a lower-body injury.

The big blueliner has nice full season totals (nine points in 13 games), but scored just two points – a pair of assists against Philadelphia on Saturday – since returning from that injury.

Even if he hasn’t been his typical towering self, the Jets will miss his presence if he’s sidelined for an extensive amount of time. They’re already without Enstrom and rookie Zach Redmond, who suffered a grisly skate blade injury last week.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: