The Buffalo Sabres practiced at the Amherst Pepsi Center on Friday afternoon prior to the team’s flight to Nashville for Saturday’s match-up.
The lines were as follows:Thomas Vanek
– Derek Roy
– Drew Stafford
Clarke MacArthur – Tim Connolly – Jason Pominville
Mike Grier – Tim Kennedy – Jochen Hecht
Pat Kaleta – Matt Ellis
– Paul Gaustad
The extra line consisted of Dan Paille, Adam Mair and Nathan Paetsch. All of the defenseman practiced with no changes in the pairings.Drew Stafford
was bumped up to the first line for his effort in the last two games alongside Ellis and Kaleta. The move puts a familiar trio back together.
“It’s something we’d like to use,” Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. “The Nashville game, I’ve already gone back to the game we played them last year, the notes on that was ‘the most boring game I’ve ever been involved with.’”
The Sabres dropped a 2-0 decision to the Predators in their last meeting on Dec. 1, 2008. At that point in the season, however, both teams had played three games in four nights. Buffalo was especially weary in a stretch of four games in six nights – a far cry from the sparse schedule the Sabres have been slated with thus far in the year.
Ruff said he hopes not to have a similar match-up this time around against the Preds.
“I hope not. But they did a great job against us. They are almost a mirror-image of how we’re playing, where it’s tight-gap and puck pressure,” he said. “They always have two men going. We’ve seen teams like Montreal will only have one going where we’re able to pick our way and get in and get some opportunities. Nashville is different. You make a D-to-D pass, they’re jumping the pass. You make a pass to your winger, the D are jumping that pass. There’s not a lot of time, there’s not a lot of ice. We’re going to have to be good on our execution and we’re going to have to make sure if they’re going to tight-gap us, we get some pucks in behind them.”
The puck drops at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Sommet Center.