Bailey uncertain for Thursday; Falk ready to return

November 1, 2017

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Justin Bailey wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday due to a lower body injury. Phil Housley said, “We wanted to keep him off the ice with the possibility of him playing tomorrow.”

Nick Baptiste was called up, but couldn’t get to Buffalo in time for practice. Housley wouldn’t say if Baptiste will play even if Bailey is healthy.

Coaches usually split the season into segments. Housley said he started with a five game segment going 0-4-1.

Arizona will be the last game of this seven game segment. Buffalo is 3-2-1 which is a point percentage of .583. Housley said, “Now we do seven game segments to try to set it up like a playoff series and I think it’s good motivation for our guys.”

Justin Falk will be back to play his first game of the season on Thursday. Falk was being physical during the preseason games, so the injury came at a bad time, but healed fast, “I would say it was slightly quicker than I thought. It was a finicky one, I’ve had it before and fortunately, I hit a turning point and started to get better every day.”

The injury started and then lingered through multiple preseason games, so it needed to be taken care of.

Falk got into 52 games with the Sabres last season. He said it was his best NHL opportunity, “I was able to build some confidence. That was probably the first time where I played consistently. I’ve always been a depth guy and been good at supporting that role, so it was nice to get a consistent amount of playing time to build your confidence in your game."

Wednesday’s lines:

Kane - Eichel - Pominville

Pouliot - O’Reilly - Okposo

Girgensons - Reinhart - Griffith

Moulson - Larsson - Nolan

Scandella - Ristolainen

McCabe - Tennyson

Falk - Antipin (Fedun)