BUFFALO -- Thomas Vanek will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury when the Buffalo Sabres take on the Washington Capitals at First Niagara Center on Saturday.
Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said Vanek possibly could return on Sunday for Buffalo’s home game against the Boston Bruins.
Vanek, Buffalo's leading scorer, took part in the team’s optional skate Saturday morning.
“He was out there today and moving, but he’s not where he needs to be,” Rolston said.
Washington defenseman Jeff Schultz will return to its lineup after sitting out the past four games as a healthy scratch.
“Sometimes you ask a guy to step back and re-evaluate themselves. We’ve got two games in two nights and we need him,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “We need his size and he need him to be a force. Hopefully it [was] a little bit of a wake-up call.”
Jhonas Enroth will start in goal for Buffalo against Braden Holtby. Each team plays three games in the next four nights.
Here are the projected lineups for Saturday:
Marcus Johansson – Nicklas Backstrom – Alexander Ovechkin
Brooks Laich – Mike Ribeiro – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault – Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks – Jay Beagle – Wojtek Wolski
Karl Alzner – Mike Green
Jack Hillen – John Carlson
Jeff Schultz – Steve Oleksy
Scratched: Dmitry Orlov, Aaron Volpatti
Injured: John Erskine (upper body), Tom Poti (back), Eric Fehr (upper body), Tomas Kundratek (knee)
Steve Ott – Cody Hodgson – Jason Pominville
Ville Leino – Tyler Ennis – Drew Stafford
Marcus Foligno – Kevin Porter – Brian Flynn
Nathan Gerbe – Jochen Hecht – Patrick Kaleta
Christian Ehrhoff – Alexander Sulzer
Tyler Myers – Robyn Regehr
Jordan Leopold – Mike Weber
Scratched: John Scott, Mark Pysyk
Injured: Thomas Vanek (upper body), Alexander Sulzer (lower body)