BUFFALO -- Thomas Vanek will not be in the lineup Thursday night when the Buffalo Sabres take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center.
Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston told the media after the team's morning skate that Vanek is still sore from being hit with a shot in the second period on Tuesday in Montreal.
Vanek was in front of the net on a Buffalo power play when he was struck by defenseman Christian Ehrhoff's shot from the point. The Sabres are calling it a lower-body injury. Vanek did not take the ice Thursday.
"He's better today," Rolston said. "He feels, actually, good and starting the process, so we're hoping to get him on the ice tomorrow."
Vanek could return for Buffalo's road game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. He leads the Sabres in scoring with 14 goals and 17 assists in 27 games.
John Scott, a healthy scratch the last three games, could be back in the lineup for Buffalo against Toronto. Nathan Gerbe is also a possibility, but he was a healthy scratch Tuesday and took extra time on the ice after practice Thursday.
"We can only have 12 forwards in there and [Gerbe] was a player that I think didn't give us a reason to keep him in right now. And that's what he has to work for," Rolston said.
The Maple Leafs did not practice Thursday morning. They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Wednesday but could be without forward Joffrey Lupul for their game against the Sabres.
Lupul received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head after hitting Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman early in the third period. He has a hearing with the Department of Player Safety at 2 p.m.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
James Van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul – Nazem Kadri – Nikolai Kulemin
Clarke MacArthur – Mikhail Grabovski – Matt Frattin
Leo Komarov – Jay McClement – Colton Orr
Carl Gunnarsson – Dion Phaneuf
Jake Gardiner – John-Michael Liles
Mark Fraser – Cody Franson
Scratched: Frazer McLaren, Mike Komisarek, Michael Kostka
Steve Ott – Cody Hodgson – Jason Pominville
Drew Stafford – Tyler Ennis – Ville Leino
Marcus Foligno – Kevin Porter – Brian Flynn
John Scott – Jochen Hecht – Patrick Kaleta
Tyler Myers – Robyn Regehr
Christian Ehrhoff – Mike Weber
Jordan Leopold – Mark Pysyk
Scratched: Nathan Gerbe
Injured: Andrej Sekera (upper body), Alexander Sulzer (lower body), Thomas Vanek (lower body)