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Sabres host Senators in first game without Vanek

Ottawa (18-25-8) at Buffalo (28-20-6), 7:30 p.m. EST

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Considering their position in the

Eastern Conference, carrying on without All-Star Thomas Vanek

will be a difficult task for the Buffalo Sabres.

Slated to play their first game since Vanek suffered a fractured

jaw, the Sabres look to bounce back from a loss when they host

the Ottawa Senators in the second part of a home-and-home series

on Wednesday.

Vanek underwent surgery on his fractured jaw on Sunday and is

expected to miss at least three weeks. The left wing suffered

the injury during Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Ottawa

Senators.

Prior to the injury, he had missed only one regular-season game

in his four-year career, and that came when he was a healthy

scratch in Toronto on April 3, 2006. The Austrian leads Buffalo

with 32 tallies and 52 points.

Goaltender Ryan Miller has been spectacular of late for the

Sabres, who are holding a slim lead on the seventh spot in the

East with 62 points. Miller has surrendered two or fewer goals

in each of his last four starts.

Ottawa snapped a four-game skid by defeating Buffalo, 3-2, in a

shootout on Saturday.

Mike Fisher scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the

bonus format, Nick Foligno and Antoine Vermette tallied in

regulation while rookie Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the

Senators, who helped coach Cory Clouston notch his first NHL

victory.

Ottawa had gone 0-1-1 since Clouston replaced the fired Craig

Hartsburg on Monday.

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