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Bruised foot sidelines top goal scorer Roy

Another day, another injury. And this is one of the Buffalo Sabres' big names.

Center Derek Roy, the team's leading goal scorer and coleader in points, sat out practice Thursday in HSBC Arena due to a bruised foot suffered when he was struck by a shot late in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

There is no word on the severity of the injury but Roy's status is uncertain for Saturday's game here against Carolina.

"I think there's always concern when you miss [practice]," Ruff said. "We're hoping [today] that he'll be a lot better than he was doing [Thursday]. He actually put his skate on and tried but it was pretty tender."

Roy has eight goals and 17 points thus far. Paul Gaustad took Roy's place on the line with Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford, who just came back Wednesday after being out three games with a shoulder problem.

Eight Sabres have already missed time this season due to injury and that doesn't count defenseman Teppo Numminen, who has not played at all following heart surgery in September. The longest time on the shelf has been the 15 games that defenseman Dmitri Kalinin has missed with a knee injury.

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Jason Pominville's nifty first-period goal Wednesday was still getting play in the locker room after practice Thursday. With his stick between his legs and contorted behind his right skate, Pominville managed to tip Clarke MacArthur's pass by Blues goalie Manny Legace.

"I thought it was incredible when I saw it on the screen [above center ice]," Ruff said. "You don't realize it. You just thought he was driving to the net with his stick on the ice.

"But to end up with the stick between the legs and deflect it the way he did, I don't think I've seen one like that . . . To deflect it the way he did was a heck of an effort."

Pominville said it was basically a reaction as he was driving to the net trying to put a stick on MacArthur's pass to the goalmouth.

"I kept my stick in the lane and it ended up between my legs," Pominville said sheepishly. "I wasn't really thinking. I was just kind of going out there to find a lane and that's the only lane I could find."

"That was pretty cool," added Stafford. "To see the skill he has in order to do that, not too many people would be able to think about that, that quick. It takes a little bit of skill to do that. Most of the time, you'd see guys get handcuffed trying to make that kind of play."

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Adam Mair, who has missed the last 10 games with an ankle injury suffered Nov. 5 at Montreal, continues to skate and was wearing a white jersey Thursday to indicate he was game-available. Look for him to return either Saturday or Wednesday at Anaheim.

"Adam is getting very close," Ruff said. "If he doesn't play this weekend, he'll definitely be ready for the West Coast trip."

Andrew Peters was back at practice after missing Wednesday's game due to the flu.

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The Sabres are 7-5 at home, 4-6-1 on the road. . . . Ales Kotalik's power-play goal Wednesday came against a St. Louis penalty-killing unit that is second in the league at 90.2 percent efficiency. Conversely, the Sabres will meet a Carolina team that is second from the bottom at just 75.4 percent. Buffalo is seventh (85.6 percent). . . . All five of Kotalik's goals this season have come on the power play.

e-mail: mharrington@buffnews.com

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