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VANEK OUT; STAFFORD REUNITES WITH ENNIS

Thursday, 03.28.2013 / 2:43 PM ET
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
VANEK OUT; STAFFORD REUNITES WITH ENNIS

SUNRISE, FLA. – Thomas Vanek will miss tonight’s game with an upper body injury, and winger Drew Stafford will be back in the lineup when the Sabres close out their two-game Florida swing with a 7:30 p.m. start at the BB&T Center against the Panthers.

Vanek didn’t skate for the second day in a row after he was forced to leave Tuesday’s game in Tampa following just one shift at the start of the third period. Interim head coach Ron Rolston said Wednesday that Vanek is suffering from an upper body muscle strain, but didn’t say if it was related to the injury that held him out of the Toronto game one week ago tonight.

Stafford will skate on a line with Tyler Ennis and Ville Leino, after being a healthy scratch for the last two games. Based on the brief line work done at the morning skate, rookie Brian Flynn appears to be in line as tonight’s healthy scratched forward. Today’s lines were:

Ott-Hodgson-Pominville
Stafford-Ennis-Leino
Gerbe-Porter-Foligno
Scott-Hecht-Kaleta

Rolston wouldn’t confirm if defenseman Andrej Sekera would return tonight, although he did say Sekera is available after missing the last five games with an upper body injury.

Ryan Miller will get his fourth straight start in goal for the Sabres, and his third this season against the Panthers. Miller has a record 1-1-0 versus Florida this season, with a 3.38 GAA and .908 save%. Florida will start 23-year-old Jacob Markstrom, who is 3-7-1 with 2.59 GAA and .921 save% in 11 games this season.

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Ennis 78 20 26 -19 46
M. Moulson 77 13 28 -11 41
B. Gionta 69 13 22 -13 35
Z. Girgensons 61 15 15 -16 30
C. Stewart 61 11 14 -30 25
D. Stafford 50 9 15 -18 24
R. Ristolainen 78 8 12 -32 20
M. Foligno 57 8 12 -5 20
B. Flynn 54 5 12 -3 17
J. Larsson 39 6 10 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Enroth 13 21 2 .903 3.27
M. Neuvirth 6 17 3 .918 2.99