The Buffalo Sabres will meet the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, in attempt to grab their second consecutive win against the Habs, and third overall. They’ll be getting a boost to their lineup when they head to the Bell Centre for the second time in a week on Saturday night.
Thomas Vanek is expected to return to the lineup after missing a game with an upper-body injury. He was injured and had to leave early the last time the Sabres met the Habs, when they defeated them in overtime last Tuesday.
Vanek left early due to taking a shot off of the hip in the Sabres’ win. The fact that the shot came from the stick of Christian Ehrhoff gives a pretty good indication of why that shot would cause Vanek to miss a small stretch.
Luckily, that stretch turned into just one game, which the Sabres managed to win without him. But there’s no doubt that having Vanek in the lineup is key if Buffalo hopes to salvage any part of their season.
Vanek has been their best player in 2013. He leads the Sabres in points overall, as well as both goals and assists. He has 14 goals and 17 assists on the season. He also has nine points on the power play, which is tied with Tyler Ennis for the team lead, as the two are far and away the leaders in that department.
Though Vanek has cooled off a bit since his torrid start, getting him back into the lineup will be big for the Sabres, as they try and win their third consecutive game, which would be tied for their longest winning streak of the season.