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Grier back, Gerbe out and Mancari gone

MONTREAL -- The Sabres welcomed back Mike Grier with an optional skate today after the veteran winger missed four games due the death of his mother. He is expected to play Monday when the Sabres play the Canadiens and try for their fourth straight win.

"I would think he would be ready in a limited role," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don’t think we could ask too much out of him after having these five days off. I would hope to get him in 10, 12 minutes."

Ruff will likely use Grier as the right winger on the fourth line with Matt Ellis and Adam Mair, allowing red-hot Patrick Kaleta to stay up on a scoring line.

"Now that he’s our hottest goal scorer, we’ll leave him up on one of the top lines," Ruff said of Saturday's two-goal scorer.

Nathan Gerbe, who missed Saturday's game with a groin strain, could not skate today, won't play Monday and is unlikely to dress Wednesday when the Sabres visit Ottawa.

"I would doubt if he’ll be able to play the rest of this trip," Ruff said.

Mark Mancari was called up to fill Gerbe's spot Saturday, but he's been returned to Portland after seven uneventful minutes and the return of Grier.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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