Buffalo Sabres\' Mike Grier, top, and Philadelphia Flyers\' Mike Richards vie for a loose puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in Philadelphia. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Matt Slocum)
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Sabres veteran forward Mike Grier is expected to rejoin the team this weekend after being excused because of an illness in his family.
Coach Lindy Ruff said after practice Thursday that Grier is expected to return for Buffalo's game at the New York Rangers on Saturday. Grier will miss his third game on Friday, when Buffalo hosts Chicago.
Forward Paul Gaustad skated with his teammates on Thursday for the first time since hurting his knee last month.
Gaustad has missed six games, and there is no timetable yet on his return.
First-line centre Tim Connolly left practice early because of a sore hip, but is expected to play against the Blackhawks.