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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Ruff expects stern challenge from Mannheim

Monday, 10.03.2011 / 12:31 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor / The Sabres take Germany

Lindy Ruff expects the best out of Adler Mannheim in Tuesday's Compuware NHL Premiere Challenge game at SAP Arena.

After all, Mannheim gave the San Jose Sharks all they could handle in an exhibition here last October. San Jose eventually prevailed, 3-2, in the shootout, but not before being pushed to the limit by a quick and hungry home team.

"I think it is going to be a highly competitive game judging by the fact that last year they played San Jose and almost beat San Jose," Ruff said after Monday's practice. "They can skate and they have some guys that can shoot. They have a lot of pride and I think any time you get to play a team from the NHL and you can knock them off, that is a feather in your cap. So, I think the game is going to be real competitive."

That's a situation that suits Ruff just fine. Just three days removed from the start of the team's regular season -- a NHL Premiere game against Anaheim in Helsinki, Finland -- Ruff believes his team can use a spirited final tune-up.

"It's a good environment for us," he said. "I think a real competitive game is a good environment for us. To play under the gun and to play against guys that are competing really hard and they are not teammates, it's a good tune-up for starting the season."

With that said, Ruff isn't committing to his starting lineup for Tuesday's game.

Backup goalie Jhonas Enroth will get the start after starter Ryan Miller went the distance in Saturday night's preseason game against Washington back in the United States.

"We want to get (Enroth) some work," Ruff said.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round