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FRIDAY UPDATE: ON THE MEND

Saturday night should be alright for Thomas Vanek

Friday, 03.22.2013 / 6:34 PM / News
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com
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FRIDAY UPDATE: ON THE MEND
You don\u2019t have to be a hockey genius to know that Christian Ehrhoff is the owner of a howitzer for a slapshot. Just ask Toronto goalie James Reimer, who still hasn\u2019t seen the point bomb that Ehrhoff unleashed for a third-period goal in Thursday\u2019s 5-4 shootout victory. Need more proof? I\u2019m sure Thomas Vanek will have something to say about it.
Vanek

MONTREAL -- You don’t have to be a hockey genius to know that Christian Ehrhoff is the owner of a howitzer for a slapshot. Just ask Toronto goalie James Reimer, who still hasn’t seen the point bomb that Ehrhoff unleashed for a third-period goal in Thursday’s 5-4 shootout victory. Need more proof? I’m sure Thomas Vanek will have something to say about it.

Vanek got caught in the crosshairs of an Ehrhoff blast during the second period of Tuesday’s win in Montreal, a shot to the hip that sent him to the bench in extreme discomfort. Vanek could barely sit down, and was eventually escorted to the dressing room by the trainer. After not practicing on Wednesday and being held out of last night’s game, Vanek was back on the ice today at First Niagara Center.

“It’s one of those where I got hit on the bone and it froze me two days; I couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything,” he told reporters after Friday’s practice. “Late last night it felt a little better. This morning I woke up and had most of my motion back. I felt pretty good skating.”

Barring any setbacks, Vanek expects to be back in the lineup for Buffalo’s return match with the Canadiens on Saturday at the Bell Centre.

“I would assume so, unless I have a setback tonight. As of right now I feel good.”


Sekera

Defenseman Andrej Sekera missed his third straight game on Thursday recovering from an upper body injury suffered last Saturday against Ottawa. Sekera has been skating all week, but is limited in his contact, especially when it comes to battle drills. Interim head coach Ron Rolston said Sekera continues to improve, and is targeting a return by mid-week when the Sabres play in Tampa Bay (Tuesday) and Florida (Thursday).


Rookie Mark Pysyk was recalled from Rochester on Sunday to replace Sekera, and the steady blueliner hasn’t looked out of place considering he’s a fresh-faced 21-year-old still in his first professional season.

In three games with the big club, Pysyk has averaged almost 16 minutes per night, and has also recorded three shots on goal and three blocked shots. Already having played two consecutive games prior to his recall, Saturday would be Pysyk’s sixth game in nine days.

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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