-- 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 email@example.com