The Sabres went through a 90-minute practice at HSBC Arena on Monday afternoon. Goaltender Ryan Miller
, who has missed the last four games with a lower body injury, took part in the entire practice. Following the session, he talked about working his way back into game shape.
“I’m just trying to get back into shape and get back into feeling ready to go in a game,” he said. “A little bit of the quick, change of direction stuff, I want to get better at that before I really say I’m 100%. Today was a good step forward.”
Head Coach Lindy Ruff noted that his goaltender is moving in the right direction after resting from practice in recent days.
“He made good progress,” Ruff said. “He’ll get a real good practice in tomorrow, see where he’s at. I don’t think it’s realistic that he’ll play the first game (Wednesday at New Jersey) but maybe a long shot for the second (Thursday at the Rangers).
While Miller manned one net for the entire practice, Patrick Lalime and Jhonas Enroth
shared time in the opposite crease.
Two players who did not skate with the rest of the team on Monday were forward Drew Stafford
and defenseman Craig Rivet. Stafford suffered an upper body injury in Friday’s loss to Montreal and will be out for an unspecified amount of time. Craig Rivet, meanwhile, was out with the flu.
Ruff was pleased with Monday’s high energy practice, which came on the heels of a 3-2 shootout win at Toronto on Saturday to break a 0-4-1 skid.11/8 - Lindy Ruff Interview
“Today’s atmosphere was excellent,” he said. “I think winning the game (at Toronto) and winning in the fashion we won it has relieved some of the stress. Some of the players were pretty tight. Hopefully we can loosen things up.”
The final drill of Monday’s practice was a skating drill in which two players each navigated his way through a series of cones before racing to a puck and trying to score. The last foot race of the day featured Lalime and Enroth, with Lalime narrowly winning the battle and putting a nifty deke on an assistant coach to score.
It was a big relief, we were all excited. We showed some great battle and character coming back. I think it’s definitely something we can build off. - Tyler Ennis (on Saturday nights 3-2 SO win over Toronto)Tyler Ennis
scored the shootout-winning goal in Saturday’s win after Jochen Hecht
netted his first goal of the season with just 14 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game and force overtime. The rookie forward talked about the come-from-behind win following Monday’s practice.
“It was a big relief, we were all excited,” he said. “We showed some great battle and character coming back. I think it’s definitely something we can build off.”
Ennis currently ranks tied for second place among all NHL rookies this season with eight points on two goals and six assists.
notched a goal and an assist on Saturday. With 15 points on seven goals and eight assists, Buffalo’s leading scorer is averaging a point per game through the team’s first 15 games and enters the week ranked tied for 12th in the NHL in scoring.