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Stanley Cup Final

Sabres' changes: Vanek out, Gerbe replaces Torres

By John McGourty - NHL.com 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.

Contact John McGourty at jmcgourty@nhl.com
Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday