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VANEK BACK IN THE LINEUP

Saturday, 12.26.2009 / 12:32 PM / News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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VANEK BACK IN THE LINEUP
Thomas Vanek (Getty Images)
Thomas Vanek will be back in the lineup tonight as the Buffalo Sabres host the Ottawa Senators at HSBC Arena.

The winger missed the last three contests with an abdominal injury after being hit by a puck, experiencing severe bruising that affected his ability to skate.

“I can still feel it,” Vanek said. “But this is as good as I’ve felt in a week, so it’s a good sign for me.”

Vanek practiced on a line alongside Derek Roy and Jochen Hecht at the morning skate.

His return shifted the lines a bit, moving Tim Connolly to play on a line with Paul Gaustad and Mike Grier while Tim Kennedy centered Clarke MacArthur and Jason Pominville. In turn, Drew Stafford dropped to the fourth unit alongside Matt Ellis and Adam Mair.

On the injury front, in addition to gaining Vanek, the Sabres are also nearing returns from Chris Butler and Pat Kaleta. Butler has missed the last month with an ankle sprain while Kaleta has missed three out of the last four contests with a stiff neck. Both players participated in the morning skate today.

“They are right on the cusp of playing,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “Kaleta indicated that he’d like to play tonight, but he hasn’t skated or practiced in four days, so that turns into a coach’s decision. Butler is in the same category.”

Ruff said the team would reevaluate Butler and Kaleta tomorrow before the team takes on the Blues in St. Louis. 

Gametime tonight is 7 p.m.



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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82