OTTAWA (CP) - Forward Dainius Zubrus missed the Buffalo Sabres morning skate Wednesday but coach Lindy Ruff said he will play in a must-win Game 4 of the NHL Eastern Conference final.
"He'll be available to play, we just kept him off the ice this morning," said Ruff. Zubrus, a physical force in the first two rounds, has been quiet as the Sabres fell behind 3-0 in the best-of-seven series with the Ottawa Senators. He also skipped practice on Tuesday and is believed to be playing through an injury.
Ruff also singled out defenceman Brian Campbell in a general discussion on playing smarter hockey.
"Brian Campbell trying a spin-o-rama on the first shift in Game 3 - do we need that?" Ruff said. "I like the way Brian played this year and in the playoffs, but is your mind in the right place when you're doing that?"
The Sabres look as though they may shuffle lines in their bid to stave off a sweep, possibly putting Tim Connolly with Thomas Vanek and Maxim Afinogrnov and Chris Drury with Derek Roy and Jochen Hecht.
"This is our last chance to start playing our game," said defenceman Toni Lydman. "The Senators have played well and its time for us to pick it up a notch or two."
No changes are expected from the Senators, who can earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals with a victory.