The Sabres are practicing in HSBC Arena, and Thomas Vanek still looks doubtful for a return. The left winger is skating on the fifth line with Raffi Torres and Matt Ellis.
Vanek skates in a straight line just fine, but his cutting and shooting ability are still off. A few seconds ago, he bumped into the end boards rather than stop with his left foot (and injured ankle). It would take major healing overnight to play in Game Six on Monday in Boston.
The Sabres' other lines remain the same: Tyler Ennis-Derek Roy-Jason Pominville; Tim Connolly-Paul Gaustad-Mike Grier; Drew Stafford-Tim Kennedy-Patrick Kaleta; and Nathan Gerbe-Cody McCormick-Adam Mair.
We'll have more following the skate.
11:53 a.m.: OK, I lied. We'll have more before the skate is finished. Vanek, for the first time, is getting power-play work. He and Drew Stafford are splitting shifts in front of the net with the unit anchored by Ennis, Gerbe, Tyler Myers and Craig Rivet.
Stafford played just 9:24 in Game Five, including 2:15 of power-play time. Lindy Ruff's choice may come down to which player should get limited ice time, Stafford or Vanek.
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