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Stafford, Connolly look set to return

Barring any setbacks Tuesday, it's looking like Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford will get the go-ahead to play Wednesday night against Boston. Rob Niedermayer is not far behind. All three practiced hard Monday and got through the team's hour-long workout in HSBC Arena.

Stafford was back on his line with Luke Adam and Jason Pominville, with Mark Mancari returned to Portland. Coach Lindy Ruff said he wanted to see more from Stafford but said he understood the winger may have been holding back after missing 14 of the last 15 games with a shoulder problem.

Connolly skated in a non-contact jersey but looked better than he has at any point since suffering his groin injury in practice Nov. 22.

"I'm right there," Connolly said. "Conditioning is there, strength is there. When they're ready for me, I'm ready to go. Wednesday is a strong possiblity to me. In the end, it comes down to a coach's decision but that's what I'm shooting for."

"Today was meant to be a physical battle day that we could do some evaluating with those guys," Ruff said. "There's parts of it I liked. Hopefully they can both answer the call."

Niedermayer, who had minor knee surgery last month, has had most of the swelling in the knee go away and Ruff said he is also close to returning. Jochen Hecht left practice after rolling his ankle but Ruff was not concerned about that issue. Shaone Morrisonn (concussion) has yet to resume exercise.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

 

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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 | [email protected]

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 | [email protected]


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 | [email protected]

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