The Sabres have two significant ailments as they prepare for their final preseason game Sunday against Philadelphia. Goaltender Patrick Lalime is out with a groin pull, while left wing Thomas Vanek also is unable to practice after getting hit during an exhibition Thursday in Montreal. Coach Lindy Ruff said Vanek has a neck and head injury but added it doesn’t fall in the seven-day window for concussions.
"Van has to be held out," said Ruff, who doesn’t believe Vanek will miss the season opener Friday in Ottawa. "He’s going to probably see our doctor again tomorrow night.
"Patty’s had a bit of a groin pull, so he hasn’t practiced now for the last three or four days. It’s getting better. I’m concerned because he’s not getting any playing time. I’m hopeful [he’ll be ready for opening night], but right now there’s no guarantee."