Vanek to play tonight, Stafford sits
Vanek, injured in the Game 2 loss last Saturday, will be in the lineup tonight for Game 6, reports the Buffalo News.
“All indications point to him playing,” coach Lindy Ruff said before the Sabres took the ice for the 11:30 morning skate. “The only decision I can make is whether I think his conditioning will be enough to get him through a game. I think it will be. He indicated yesterday that he felt he was ready to play.”
To make room, the Sabres will scratch forward Drew Stafford, who after a relatively solid Game 5 performance, has no points in three appearances this series.
Vanek’s ice time will surely be determined by how he reacts to the environment. It’s expected he will start out on a line with Tim Kennedy and Pat Kaleta, taking Stafford’s spot from Friday night’s win in Buffalo. Vanek had also been getting work on a powerplay unit in practice with Tyler Ennis, Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Myers and Craig Rivet. That unit had generated good chances in limited opportunity Friday, but failed to pot a goal. The Sabres powerplay is 0-for-the series.
Vanek has six goals and two assists in his last four games, including a goal and assist in his two appearances in this series.