Buffalo Sabres recall Drew Stafford from minors for the NHL playoffs

The move came two days after Stafford was sent down to AHL Rochester, freeing up salary cap space to allow the Sabres to activate centre Tim Connolly for their final two regular-season games.

Connolly is healthy to play after missing most of the season with post-concussion symptoms and a knee injury. Stafford was eligible to rejoin the Sabres because the salary cap doesn’t count during the playoffs, which top-seeded Buffalo opens at home against the New York Islanders on Thursday.

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Stafford led Sabres rookies with 13 goals and 27 points despite playing only 41 games.