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Depleted Sabres look to bounce back against Hurricanes

Buffalo (31-24-6) at Carolina (31-26-5), 7:00 p.m. EST

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The depleted Buffalo Sabres

could use an important victory.

Without injured All-Star Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan

Miller, the Sabres have that chance when they visit the Carolina

Hurricanes on Thursday in a battle of teams on the bubble in the

Eastern Conference.

Buffalo has been without Vanek - the team's leading scorer - for

seven games and will not get him back from the fractured jaw for

at least another two weeks. The Sabres are 3-4-0 without the

Austrian, who has recorded 32 goals and 20 assists.

Miller suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's 4-2 win over the

New York Rangers and is likely to miss at least another eight

games, according to the Buffalo News.

Buffalo suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks on

Tuesday, during which backup netminder Patrick Lalime made 18

saves. He is still looking for his first win since December 13.

Carolina had its three-game winning streak halted with Tuesday's

4-2 setback against the Ottawa Senators.

The Hurricanes have scored a total of four goals in their last

four losses, dating to February 12.

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