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Vanek questionable, lines get the big shuffle

OTTAWA -- Thomas Vanek is questionable for Saturday night's game at Scotiabank Place against the Ottawa Senators but coach Lindy Ruff said today there doesn't appear to be any longterm issues from the hit Vanek took Thursday from Boston's Johnny Boychuk.

"He's doing OK. He's a little bit sore but doing OK," Ruff said at Ottawa's SensPlex practice facility. "I can't answer that question [if Vanek will miss the game]. It all depends on how he's feeling tomorrow."

Even if Vanek plays, it appears the Sabres are going to shuffle lines after the offense's second straight one-goal game on the road. Ruff said Tyler Ennis will move back to center with Ville Leino back on left wing. At least Friday, Cody Hodgson -- finally getting in his first practice -- got a bump up to what was the top line. The Sabres skated only three full lines Friday, with Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick also on the ice. They looked like this:


As for other players, McCormick appears close to being ready after suffering his second concussion last month. Patrick Kaleta was held off the ice Friday due to maintenance but defenseman Andrej Sekera is suffering even worse flu symptoms and won't play again tomorrow.

"He's going for more tests," Ruff said. "He's either got a real severe flu or we're trying to figure it out what it is but he's not feeling well."

---Mike Harrington

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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 |