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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Photo: Bill Wippert
Buffalo Sabres’ Tim Connolly will officially return to the lineup Thursday, in time for Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Head Coach Lindy Ruff confirmed (LISTEN NOW) that the center is ‘a go’ for the Sabres’ first match-up against the Boston Bruins, after missing the final nine contests of the regular season due a to a foot injury.

Connolly was the team’s second-leading scorer with 65 points and 48 assists through 73 games in the regular season. He rejoined the team Tuesday for his first practice since sustaining the injury.

Meanwhile, Drew Stafford and Jochen Hecht - who have each missed time with upper body injuries - continued to skate at HSBC Arena.

Hecht is still listed as questionable for the contest, while Stafford will likely be out for Game One. The winger was still not cleared for full contact following Wednesday's skate. Although he said he's recovered from the concussion-like symptoms that he was experiencing following a crushing hit in Ottawa, Stafford is prefering to err on the side of caution.

"I want to make sure I'm 100 percent before I come back," he said.

Stay tuned to for more information following Thursday’s morning skate.
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