By John Vogl
WASHINGTON -- Only three players on the Sabres are producing, and one of them won't play today.
Thomas Vanek, who suffered a muscle strain Friday night against Carolina, is out for this afternoon's matchup with the Capitals.
"Thomas isn’t OK," coach Lindy Ruff said in Verizon Center. "Just day-to-day, really. He skated this morning but isn’t quite there."
Vanek leads the Sabres and is third in the league with nine points, including six assists.
"It’s tough, but I think we’ve seen it around the league," Ruff said. "There’s players going down everywhere. We have to do a better job of getting through it when we have some key injuries in some key situations.
"I anticipated really that Thomas was going to be able to play. I thought cases like this you can usually bounce back, but it’s a day-to-day type situation."
Rookie Mikhail Grigorenko, meanwhile, will play for Buffalo. It will be the 18-year-old's fifth game of the season, so afterward the Sabres will have to decide whether they will keep for the rest of the year or send him back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"We’ve had a lot of discussions, and we’ll probably continue," Ruff said. "It’s something that we’ve talked a lot about."
taggedMikhail Grigorenko | Thomas Vanek | Washington Capitals