Thomas Vanek’s presence will be missed on the ice© Dan Hickling, Queen City Sports
Buffalo’s already slim playoff chances took a major blow on Tuesday night when the team failed to capitalize on a vulnerable Tampa Bay Lightning group that had just lost their head coach and were losers of three straight games.
Tonight, the Sabres once again face a team riding a three game losing streak in the Florida Panthers, hoping to try and get back into the playoff race. But if they are going to get back to their winning ways, the Sabres are going to have to do so without their leading scorer.
Thomas Vanek will once again be out of the lineup after suffering a muscle strain in the third period of Buffalo’s 2-1 loss to Tampa. Returning to the lineup for an injured Vanek will be Drew Stafford who has been a healthy scratch for the last two games by interim head coach Ron Rolston.
Stafford has just four goals and seven assists in 31 games played, and has often been relegated to the fourth line since Rolston took over on February 20.
Defenseman Andrej Sekera will be a game time decision for the Sabres. Rolston said his defenseman is healthy and ready to play, but he had yet to figure out the lineup as of Thursday morning.
The Sabres face off against the Panthers at 7:30pm.
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