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Sabres' changes: Vanek out, Gerbe replaces Torres

By John McGourty - Staff Writer

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Sabres' changes: Vanek out, Gerbe replaces Torres
The Sabres will be without Thomas Vanek in Game 5.
BUFFALO -- Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who suffered an ankle sprain last Saturday in Game 2, skated for the third straight day Friday morning, but will not be available for Game 5 Friday night (7 p.m. ET, CBC) against the Boston Bruins. The Sabres trail the Bruins, 3-1, in the best-of-seven series.

"(Vanek's) getting closer," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "Yesterday (Thursday) was a pretty sore day for him. I think we're getting closer."

Ruff was asked if the Sabres' "mindset" was to have Vanek skate Saturday and Sunday so he could play Monday in Boston, if the Sabres avoid elimination Friday.

"There's no mindset," Ruff said. "If he felt he could play and be effective, he'd be in the lineup. We have one game to stay alive."

Ruff also said Nathan Gerbe would play Friday, in place of Raffi Torres. Ruff also said he was pleased with the performance of call-up Cody McCormick in Game 4 Wednesday; McCormick assisted on the game-opening goal in Buffalo's 3-2 double-overtime loss in Boston.

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Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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