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Injury will sideline Thomas Vanek for at least one week

Buffalo Sabres v Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 06: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during play at the RBC Center on January 6, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Grant Halverson

The Buffalo Sabres’ 3-1 win ties them with the team they beat (the Montreal Canadiens) and the New York Islanders for the second lowest points total in the Eastern Conference at 51, but that’s as close to good news as they’re getting tonight.

(I mean, unless you’re really excited about a rare Ville Leino goal.)

The Buffalo News’ John Vogl passes along word from Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff that Thomas Vanek will miss “at least a week” with an upper-body injury suffered in the first period. Ruff told reporters that the team’s $7.14 million-per-year winger will “require more evaluation” before the true severity of his ailments are revealed.

Jason Pominville was Buffalo’s All-Star this season, but for the most part, Vanek has been one of the only other bright spots for the Sabres with 41 points in 50 games. He’s been ice cold lately, though, with a seven-game scoring drought and just one goal and one assist since the New Year rolled around.

Even so, this is another brutal blow to a Buffalo team that was already reeling from letdowns and injuries.