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SPACEK, HECHT TO RETURN TO THE LINEUP

Thursday, 02.05.2009 / 3:08 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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SPACEK, HECHT TO RETURN TO THE LINEUP
Jaroslav Spacek (photo: Getty Images)
The Sabres’ blueline will regain another veteran in time to take on the Montreal Canadiens Friday night at HSBC Arena.

Jaroslav Spacek is set to return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a hip injury. The defenseman was hurt in the second period of a 2-0 win in Phoenix on Jan. 31.

“It’s been much better the last couple of days,” he said. “I talked to doctors yesterday and everything is okay so I’m ready to jump in and play.”

Spacek joins Teppo Numminen as the latest defenseman to return from injury. Numminen played in Wednesday night’s 5-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs after missing six games with a fractured jaw.

The Sabres are still without two of their top blueliners in Henrik Tallinder [shoulder] and Andrej Sekera [ankle]. Both skated Thursday afternoon, but are not expected to play Friday night.

Offensively, it seems that Jochen Hecht is ready to return to the ice Friday night after missing the last two games. Hecht was also injured in last week's game against the Coyotes with an upper body injury.

"We'll see if there are any effects from today," Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. "But he should be able to play."

As for Maxim Afinogenov, the winger rejoined his team in practice, although Ruff said there is still no timetable for his return to the lineup. Afinogenov has missed the last 13 games with a groin injury.

"It's the first time he's skated in a while," Ruff said. "Now he'll just have to push through it."

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