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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Tim Connolly (Photo: Getty Images)
Head Coach Lindy Ruff opted for a late practice today, beginning at 2 p.m. at HSBC Arena, stressing more rest his team.

“I’ve had different ideas. When you go through something like this [two game losing streak], to break up the routine… you could do an afternoon practice, you could simulate [a game] by having an evening practice,” he said.

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“I’ve thought about some different things. Even today, with the ice being the way it was, we went with a team bike ride instead of doing a skate at the end of practice.”

It wasn’t the only change Ruff made – he also decided to move Derek Roy and Tim Connolly.

Roy practiced alongside Clarke MacArthur and Jason Pominville, while Connolly centered Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford

“I swapped them in the game in Boston and actually got a goal out of the Roy line,” Ruff said. “Looking at the last couple games, there hasn’t been enough quality opportunities… Sometimes just flipping one guy ignites a line a little bit.

“I’m actually encouraged that it’s taken this long to actually flip some guys around. You look at it, we’ve been off to a good start, but we don’t like the fact that we’ve lost the last couple games and we’ve got to get back on track.”

Patrick Lalime and Toni Lydman, who are both suffering from groin strains, were absent.

“Patrick is doing better,” Ruff said. “Toni was in yesterday and skated on his own. He skated on his own again today a little bit. He’s not quite there. We don’t want any setbacks but we’re hoping in the near future that we’ll get him back.”

Ruff said there was no timetable for Lalime but anticipated him back on the ice this week.
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