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Early look: Stafford likely back

Greetings from the early stages of the Sabres' morning skate. The warm-up drill featured the following lines:

Thomas Vanek-Brad Boyes-Drew Stafford

Tyler Ennis-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad-Mark Mancari

Rob Niedermayer-Cody McCormick-Mike Grier

All seven defensemen are present, as are goalies Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth.

Stafford's presence indicates he is likely to return from his hamstring strain tonight against Carolina. Jochen Hecht, who has an upper-body injury, is not on the ice.

---John Vogl

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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 |

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 |