Jake McCabe will be out the remainder of the season for the Buffalo Sabres after the defenseman sustained injuries in his right knee to the ACL, MCL and meniscus.
The expected recovery time is 6-8 months.
McCabe had an MRI on Sunday for a lower-body injury sustained in a 3-2 win at the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 20. He favored his right leg when he left the game at 8:57 of the third period after attempting to check Devils center Nico Hischier .
The 27-year-old, who is an alternate captain, has scored three points (one goal, two assists) and averaged 19:10 in ice time in 13 games this season. The game Saturday was his third after being in NHL COVID-19 protocol.
McCabe can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
“Jake’s a guy that, he’s taken a lot of strides in the last couple of years as a leader,” Sabres forward Kyle Okposo said Sunday. “He’s somebody that I have a ton of respect for and all the guys have a lot of respect for in that room. I don’t know what the final prognosis is yet but he’s going to be a guy that’s dearly missed on and off the ice.”
Buffalo is also without Rasmus Ristolainen for a four-game road trip that begins at the New York Islanders on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG-B, NHL.TV). The defenseman was removed from the NHL COVID-19 protocol Feb. 17 and is working his way back into shape after testing positive for the virus Feb. 2. He hasn’t played since Jan. 31.
“Yeah, with McCabe it’s so unlucky,” Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin said.” He’s one of our main guys in the locker room and main guy on the ice. It’s going to be huge loss. With ‘Risto’ gone, too, we just have to make the best of it and try to compete. It’s another game and we can’t really do anything about it right now. It’s not fun, for sure, when those types of things happen.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Heather Engel contributed to this story