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Vanek back, Stafford scratched for Sabres

Saturday, 03.23.2013 / 1:08 PM | Arpon Basu  - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL – The Buffalo Sabres will welcome their leading scorer back to the lineup Saturday night when they face the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in four days.

Thomas Vanek is fully recovered after taking a Christian Ehrhoff slap shot off his left hip when the Sabres visited Bell Centre on Tuesday night, a 3-2 overtime win for Buffalo.

Struggling Drew Stafford will be a healthy scratch for Buffalo, and Nathan Gerbe draws in for the Sabres.

For the Canadiens, Ryan White will miss the game with a lower-body injury suffered in a 5-2 win Thursday night against the New York Islanders. He will be replaced on Montreal’s fourth line by Mike Blunden, who was called up from the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday.

Rene Bourque, who has missed the past month with a concussion, did not skate with the team for a second straight day after practicing with the Canadiens on Wednesday then making the trip to Long Island on Thursday. He missed an optional practice Friday and was not on the ice Saturday morning.

Defenseman Yannick Weber, who hurt his knee two weeks ago, did skate with the team Saturday morning for the first time since his injury.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sabres and Canadiens on Saturday night:

SABRES

Steve OttCody HodgsonJason Pominville

Thomas VanekTyler EnnisVille Leino

Nathan GerbeJochen HechtPatrick Kaleta

Marcus FolignoKevin PorterBrian Flynn

Tyler MyersChristian Ehrhoff

Mike WeberJordan Leopold

Mark PysykRobyn Regehr

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: John Scott, Drew Stafford

Injured: Andrej Sekera (knee)

CANADIENS

Michael RyderTomas PlekanecBrian Gionta

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukLars EllerColby Armstrong

Travis MoenGabriel DumontMike Blunden

Josh GorgesP.K. Subban

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Francis BouillonJarred Tinordi

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Tomas Kaberle

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