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Sabres enter final week minus Vanek, Connolly @NHLdotcom

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -There's a chance the Buffalo Sabres could play the final week of the regular season without top-line forwards Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly.

Coach Lindy Ruff said Monday he didn't know whether either will be healthy enough to play before the NHL playoffs open next week.

The Northeast Division-leading Sabres have four games left, and close their season at New Jersey on Sunday. Ruff said he'd prefer to have both play at least once before the playoffs.

Vanek has missed four games with a lower body injury. He skated briefly on his own before practice Monday. Connolly has missed five games with an injured foot, and has been limited to riding a stationary bike.

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