By Mike Harrington
A mostly quiet morning in First Niagara Center in advance of tonight's Sabres-Devils game (Reminder: It's been moved to 7:30 and will be televised on NBC Sports Network). The Sabres skated for about 30 minutes while only a few Devils stopped by since they played last night against Toronto in the Prudential Center.
Ryan Miller will be in goal tonight against Martin Brodeur. Thomas Vanek is out again and did not take the morning skate but interim coach Ron Rolston said that was a scheduled day off and Vanek will return to practice Monday.
This will be the sixth straight game Vanek has missed with what the team is calling an upper-body muscle strain. Rolston said he continues to target Tuesday's game in Winnipeg as Vanek's return date. We'll see.
The Sabres have won two straight and are 5-2-2 in their last nine games but start the day 12th in the Eastern Conference with 36 points, sixth back of the eighth-place Islanders but with a game in hand. According to Sportsclubstats.com's calculations, they need to earn 16 of the 20 points they have left on the table to just have a roughly 50-50 shot at the postseason.