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Sabres leading scorer Vanek ruled out against Devils because of nagging injury

Florida Panthers' Dmitry Kulikov (7) is brought down by Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek (26) in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The Sabres won 4-3 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

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Florida Panthers' Dmitry Kulikov (7) is brought down by Buffalo Sabres' Thomas Vanek (26) in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. The Sabres won 4-3 in a shootout. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek has been ruled out from playing against New Jersey on Saturday afternoon because of a nagging upper body injury.

Interim coach Ron Rolston described the injury as short-term and hopes Vanek will return for Buffalo's game at the New York Rangers on Sunday. Vanek ranks third in the NHL with 27 points (12 goals and 15 assists), but is in the midst of a prolonged slump. He's not scored in five games, and has just a goal and three points in his past nine.

Center Brian Flynn will make his NHL debut a day after the Sabres called him up from AHL Rochester.

For the Devils, left wing Ryan Carter will return after missing four games with an upper body injury.

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