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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres

Only a handful of Sabres were on the ice this morning as a scheduled optional skate combined with the nasty winter weather outside made for a quiet morning at HSBC Arena.

Thomas Vanek (Photo: Getty Images)

The Sabres and Senators will face off at HSBC Arena tonight in the fifth of six meetings between the clubs this season, although to the Sabres, it may feel like they’re seeing Ottawa for the first time. 

Since the teams last played on Jan. 25, the Senators have shipped out veteran players Mike Fisher (to Nashville), Chris Kelly (to Boston), Jarkko Ruutu (to Anaheim), Brian Elliot (to Colorado) and Alex Kovalev (to Pittsburgh).  Yesterday, they picked up forward Marek Svatos off waivers from Nashville.

Lindy Ruff said it would be difficult to get a read on what to expect from a team with a new-look roster that features five rookies.

“Obviously it’s different players from the last game to this game, players we don’t know a lot about, I think younger, more energy, so it is a totally different team we’re looking at,” said Ruff.   “You’ve got players that are looking to make an impact, to make an impression.  Obviously players that are going to get a look for the first time. They’ve got good energy in their game, they’ve won their last two games, so these are always dangerous situations.”

2/25 - Lindy Ruff Pregame

The biggest return in the recent deals Ottawa has made was goaltender Craig Anderson, who was picked up from Colorado in the Elliot deal.  In his Senators debut last week at Toronto, Anderson recorded a 47-save shutout.

“He’s had some real good runs,” Ruff said of the new Ottawa netminder.  “He was unbelievable for a long stretch in Colorado, he was unbelievable in his first game (with Ottawa).  The important thing is the traffic, it’s the second opportunities, and we make sure that we do our part.”

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