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Sabres ready for back-to-back with Maple Leafs; Roy, Sekera resume skating

The Sabres are looking for a spark, and the struggling team should get one with the next two games. They have a home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs that starts Tuesday in Toronto, and they're ready to use the passionate games against their longtime rivals as a springboard to a good second half.

"It’s huge for us," Sabres right wing Patrick Kaleta said. "You can go with the rivalry, with the big points that are needed for the standings, you can go for us starting to get back on the right track here. These next two games are huge."

Ryan Miller will start in goal Tuesday, and he's likely to be in net again when the Sabres host the Leafs on Friday in the month's final home game. Miller is 25-12 in his career against the Maple Leafs.

Derek Roy (shoulder) and Andrej Sekera (upper body) returned to practice today. Both skated in noncontact roles. Roy is a possibility for the weekend, while Sekera wasn't ready to set a timeline.

"It happened in training camp, pretty much the same injury," said Roy, who got his shoulder wrenched Friday during a faceoff with Carolina's Jussi Jokinen. "The first time I was more nervous. The second time I knew what I was dealing with. It's a weird feeling and it doesn't feel good.

"I felt pretty good shooting. Just a couple battle drills feeling it a little bit. Now we know what we need to do to get it strengthened and work on it. Stick to the program every day."

To hear coach Lindy Ruff's news conference in First Niagara Center, click the audio file below.

---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 |