OTTAWA -- Drew Stafford was the only member of the Sabres who skated today, and if things continue to improve he could play with the rest of the team Tuesday.
The Sabres, who are set to close a run of five games in eight nights Tuesday when they visit Ottawa, chose a light, off-ice workout at their hotel rather than practice today. Stafford, though, traveled down the road and skated to test the groin injury that has kept him out of the past three games. He'd be a welcome addition to a battered lineup.
"The only person that’s progressing is Stafford," coach Lindy Ruff said by phone. "He skated today, and if that went well he’s a possibility for tomorrow."
Ruff said left wing Thomas Vanek, who was limited by an upper-body injury during Sunday's 5-3 victory over the Islanders, will play against the Senators.
"Van’s fine,'' Ruff said. "He’s just going to have to deal with what he’s dealing with. The good news is the break is after tomorrow, so that should help."
The Sabres are off for nine days following Tuesday's game. It should allow some players to heal, though Ruff hopes it doesn't stall momentum for his team, which is 8-3-1 in its last 12 games.
"We’ve been going pretty good, and you’d like to keep playing," he said. "We’ve closed the gap and got some games in hand on the eighth-place team, so I look it that it would be nice to keep rolling.
"It’s an important game for us, and that’s why we put some thought into what we wanted to do today. We just feel we need with the schedule being five in eight and them not playing for a few days, we felt the best thing for our team to do was just rest today and get a light off-ice workout in, and we’ll get ready for the game tomorrow morning."