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Vanek skips practice; Kotalik close

Thomas Vanek, who missed part of the second period Saturday with a lower-body injury, skipped the Sabres' holiday practice today. He expects to be back fo Friday's game against the Penguins in HSBC Arena.

"I came back and finished the game, so there's no reason I shouldn't play tomorrow," Vanek told The Buffalo News.

Vanek, walking with a noticeable limp, was injured when hit along the boards by Boston bruiser Milan Lucic.

"I just dumped the puck and didn't see him coming," Vanek said. "I felt like I was in a bit of a vulnerable position, but there's nothing you can do. That's what he does."

Meanwhile, winger Ales Kotalik did drills with linemates for the first time and told The News he expects to be back in the lineup "definitely Monday, maybe Saturday." Kotalik suffered a hamstring injury two weeks ago.

---John Vogl


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

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Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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