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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres

As off-day practices go, it was a relatively uneventful few hours at the First Niagara Center today as the team prepared for Saturday’s game in Long Island.

The biggest news was that both of the team’s latest flu bug casualties were back in uniform and going full speed. Tyler Ennis returned after missing yesterday with the flu. He was joined on a line by Drew Stafford, who was hit hard enough by the bug that it kept him out of Wednesday’s shootout loss to the New York Rangers. This was Stafford’s second straight practice, and Ruff said both players should be good to go tomorrow night.

Zack Kassian, recalled Wednesday when Stafford went down, is still with the big club and will travel with the team today.

“I think right now the plan would be to take him with,” said Ruff. “You never know what’s gonna pop up with us.”

TJ Brennan watched practice from the sidelines again today, as he recovers from a concussion that came as a result of a hit delivered by Winnipeg’s Nik Antropov on January 19. Antropov received a minor penalty for boarding on the play, and was subsequently fined $2,500 by the league.

“He’s still not good,” said Ruff. “He’s getting some treatment. He’s had some further x-rays and stuff, but he’s still not good.”

Today’s lines at practice: 23-9-29; 21-63-42; 22-28-36; 54/8-72-37

The Sabres will be facing a tired club on Saturday, as the Islanders are in Ottawa tonight for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff with the Sens. Since they’ll have to clear Canadian Customs before flying home, the Islanders likely won’t be in their own beds until sometime after 2 a.m.

Following Saturday’s game, Buffalo doesn’t play again until they host Boston on Wednesday at FNC. It’s the first of a pair of three-day breaks they’ll get this month, the other coming on February 26-28.
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