Vanek (muscle strain) will not play vs. Washington; Grigorenko is a go

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The Buffalo Sabres will look to get off the schneid this afternoon against the Capitals, but they’ll be doing it shorthanded.

Coach Lindy Ruff says the team’s leading scorer, Thomas Vanek, will not suit up thanks to a muscle strain. Ruff says it’s nothing to worry about just yet, per John Vogl of The Buffalo News.

“I anticipated really that Thomas was going to be able to play. I thought cases like this you can usually bounce back, but it’s a day-to-day type situation.”

How good has Vanek been so far? His nine points are more points than the Capitals have goals this season.

Meanwhile, 2012 first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko will play today. It’ll mark his fifth game this season meaning it’s his last chance to prove he can stick in the NHL. Judging by the lines the team used in practice yesterday, he’ll get a strong opportunity to show what he’s got playing between Steve Ott and Drew Stafford.