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Sabres' Vanek out vs. Rangers

Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 5:33 PM

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Sabres' Vanek out vs. Rangers

NEW YORK -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without leading scorer Thomas Vanek for a second straight game, coach Ron Rolston announced Sunday prior to his team's game against the New York Rangers.

Vanek was absent from the Sabres' 4-3 shootout victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, and the team hoped he'd able to face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Rolston said Vanek is close but just not ready.

"We're hoping [for Tuesday at the Carolina Hurricanes]," Rolston said. "For his best interest and the best interest of the team, we decided to hold him out [Sunday]. He won't be able to go, but we're very hopeful he'll be able to go on Tuesday."

It's impossible to overstate the importance of Vanek this season to the Sabres, who have won three straight but enter the game 12th in the Eastern Conference at 9-12-1. Vanek is tied for third in the NHL with 27 points in 20 games.

"He showed signs [of improvement], but he just can't do some of the things we need him to do," Rolston said. "He's real close though."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens