If the Stars are going to win their first playoff game in six years, they’re going to have to do it without one of their most important defensemen.
Brenden Dillon will miss tonight’s game at American Airlines with what’s believed to be an injured foot, per the Dallas Morning-News. It’s the third straight playoff game the 23-year-old has missed, and his absence was noticeable as the Stars fell behind two games to none in Anaheim.
Dillon scored 17 points in 80 games for Dallas this year, averaging over 21 minutes a night (third on the team) while leading all skaters in hits (168) and finishing second in blocked shots (149). Without him in the lineup, the Stars have just seven d-men available and relied on a six-man unit Friday: Alex Goligoski, Trevor Daley, Sergei Gonchar, Kevin Connauton, Patrik Nemeth and Jordie Benn, the latter three all in the midst of their Stanley Cup playoff debuts.
Dillon’s absence has resulted in a hefty workload for Goligoski and Daley especially — Goligoski played 27:25 and Daley 24:10 in Game 2.
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.
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.