Thomas Vanek likes being in Buffalo. It is where he grew into an NHL star and family man.

But like many folks in Sabreland, he’s curious about the direction of the franchise and whether he’ll be part of it.

Vanek has one year left on his contract, which has made him the focus of trade talk heading toward Wednesday’s deadline. General Manager Darcy Regier said he is open to offers on all his players.

“I would definitely like to stay,” said Vanek, who missed Sunday night’s 2-0 loss to Boston with an upper-body injury. “I like this area. I’m comfortable where I’m at, but I would like to know what the direction is. The next four days I can’t control, then after that we’ll see what Darcy and [owner] Terry [Pegula] and them have to say.”

Vanek is the Sabres’ runaway leader in goals and points despite missing seven games with injuries. They could have used his offensive talent against the Bruins. Both teams were playing on the second night of back-to-back games, and they struggled to a 0-0 tie through 50 minutes.

David Krejci finally broke the deadlock with 7:06 to play, getting free from Andrej Sekera in the crease to whack home a rebound. Nathan Horton sent the crowd of 19,027 streaming toward the First Niagara Center exits with 4:16 left when he tipped home a pass by Krejci.

The setback was the fourth straight for the Sabres (0-2-2), who fell to 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

“We played a complete game, had a couple mistakes there at the end,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. “That was one of our best team games since I’ve been here. Period. Hands down.”

Rolston made the Sabres’ most noise with a line change. Cody Hodgson, who had centered the top line nearly all season, was dropped to the fourth and skated alongside wingers Patrick Kaleta and John Scott. Rolston said it was for defensive reasons.