Steve Downie returns for Flyers on Saturday

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Philadelphia Flyers winger Steve Downie will return to the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday after missing two games with an upper-body injury, reports.

He was shaken up thanks to a Dec. 19 hit by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin, who was ejected from that contest but didn’t receive supplemental discipline:

There was some concern for Downie, 26, as he suffered a frightening concussion that sidelined him for four contests during his first game back with the Flyers on Nov. 1.

Despite those two injuries and being traded from the Colorado Avalanche, the agitating forward has been pretty successful in a contract year. Along with pushing opponents’ buttons as usual (67 PIM in 31 games), Downie continues to show that he’s one of the rare tough guys with a knack for scoring, as he has 19 points.

The Flyers have won three of their last four games, so perhaps they can keep building momentum as they get a useful player back in the lineup. Downie only missed two contests thanks in part to the holiday break.

Another Sabre hurt: Gionta (lower body) day-to-day

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On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.

Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.

The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.

There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.

Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.