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Sabres' Kane set to make return against Blues

by Louie Korac / NHL.com

SABRES (8-9-1) at BLUES (12-6-1)

TV: MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-MW

ST. LOUIS -- The Buffalo Sabres will get left wing Evander Kane back from injury when they face the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Kane, who missed 10 games because of an MCL injury in his left knee, will play alongside rookie Jack Eichel and second-year player Sam Reinhart on the Sabres' second line.

Kane, who practiced the past couple days with no repercussions, deemed himself fit and ready to go.

"I feel fresh and ready to go," Kane said. "... I'm well-rested. I've been all over our training staff to let me play. Tonight's the night, so I've got to go out there and prove (the training staff) right.

"I got the news [Wednesday]. It's because of them I was able to come back in three weeks and change."

The Blues got some good news that center Jori Lehtera will not miss any time after leaving a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday after taking a stick to the throat.

Lehtera, who went to the hospital as a precaution, was on the team flight to St. Louis and took part in the morning skate.

"When it's this area," Lehtera said, pointing to his throat, "it's different than the knee or something. But everything is good."

Rookie defenseman Colton Parayko (lower body) will miss his second consecutive game. Coach Ken Hitchcock said Parayko is day-to-day and is "too sore to play right now."

Here are the projected lineups:

SABRES

Matt Moulson - Ryan O'Reilly - Brian Gionta

Evander Kane - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Tyler Ennis

Nicolas Deslauriers - David Legwand - Jamie McGinn

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Zach Bogosian

Carlo Colaiacovo - Cody Franson

Linus Ullmark

Chad Johnson

Injured: Zemgus Girgensons (upper body), Mike Weber (knee), Robin Lehner (ankle), Cody McCormick (blood clot), Mark Pysyk (lower body)

Scratched: Tim Schaller

BLUES

Alexander Steen - David Backes - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Jori Lehtera - Dmitrij Jaskin

Robby Fabbri - Scott Gomez - Troy Brouwer

Steve Ott - Kyle Brodziak - Jeremy Welsh

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Joel Edmundson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Carl Gunnarsson - Robert Bortuzzo

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Injured: Paul Stastny (foot), Jaden Schwartz (ankle), Patrik Berglund (shoulder), Colton Parayko (lower body)

Scratched: Scottie Upshall, Ryan Reaves

Status report: The Sabres will insert Colaiacovo, a former Blues defenseman, into the lineup in place of Pysyk, who coach Dan Bylsma said was injured Tuesday against Dallas and "is not 100 percent." ... Ott, a former Sabres captain, returns after missing six games with an upper-body injury. Stastny took part in the morning skate and said he's been skating the past 5-6 days. Stastny, who has missed 14 games with a broken right foot, said he's taking it day by day and awaiting results on X-rays each time he visits the doctor. He was projected to miss five weeks.

Who's hot: Ennis has an assist in five of the past six games. Ristolainen has six points in the past five games. Franson has four points in four games. ... Steen has four assists the past two games against the Sabres. Tarasenko has two goals and two assists in three games against Buffalo.

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