BOSTON -- Thomas Vanek will be in the lineup for the Buffalo Sabres tonight.
"All indications point to him playing," coach Lindy Ruff said before the Sabres took the ice for the 11:30 morning skate. "The only decision I can make is whether I think his conditioning will be enough to get him through a game. I think it will be. He indicated yesterday that he felt he was ready to play."
Vanek hasn't played since injuring his left ankle in the first period of Game Two. The Sabres, down 3-2 in the series, need to win Game Six in TD Garden to force Game Seven on Wednesday in Buffalo.
"I've said to him that he's got to go all in right off the bat," Ruff said. "You can't ease into this game. This isn't a game you can ease into. It's all out right from the start, then we'll see where you're at after the first period, after the first shift."
Vanek's playing time will depend on his health and the status of the game.
"This is the type of game that if one team is down, if you're down halfway through the game, coaches will tend to go to three lines to lay it all on the line anyways," Ruff said. "I would predict unless you're tied and you're still rolling four lines, somebody is going to put some extra ice time on their key players to try and win a hockey game."
The audio from Lindy's chat is below.
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