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Lalime battling flu, status uncertain

It's pretty obvious the Sabres were planning on using Patrick Lalime in net in two of the remaining three games so Ryan Miller gets some rest. Miller certainly made it clear after Tuesday's win over the Rangers he expected to get extra practice time and more game time in this weekend.

That plan, however, is up in the air. Lalime missed Wednesday's practice with the flu and it's unknown if he'll be available Thursday night in Boston (he had not been named the starter but it's assumed he was getting the call). To make matters worse, the Sabres just can't call up Jhonas Enroth from Portland like they did in November for a game against the Bruins because he's still out with a high ankle sprain.

"Patty was sick last night but he should make the flight," Ruff said before the team departed for Boston. "We'll have to see where he's at later today. We had a plan. We might have to alter the plan right now."

The news is a little better elsewhere. Craig Rivet is back from the flu and should play Thursday. Ruff also said Thomas Vanek continues to show improvement and it sounds like Saturday in Ottawa is looming as a target date for his return.

"He had a lot better day again today," Ruff said. "Our plans are to get him a couple real good skates including today, get him some rest and get him in for the weekend."

Tim Connolly remains out with no return imminent. Jochen Hecht sat out practice but Ruff said that was simply for "maintenance".

---Mike Harrington


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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.

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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.

@amymoritz |