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by Rob Crean / Buffalo Sabres
Thomas Vanek (Photo: Bill Wippert)
The trio of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford combined for five points and 11 shots on goal in Saturday’s 6-1 win at New Jersey.  Vanek scored twice to notch his first multi-goal game of the year while Roy collected two assists.  Drew Stafford opened the scoring in the first period with his third goal of the season.

Vanek registered a total of 10 shots on goal in two games over the weekend as the Sabres went 1-1-0, and Head Coach Lindy Ruff is pleased to see Vanek and his linemates generating so many scoring chances.

“It was nice for (Vanek) to get a couple.  That line is really starting to make some things happen.  I like what they’ve done.”

With three goals in the last three games, Vanek is looking to continue his recent success.

“I’ve just got to keep going.  Some nights it’s going to go in and hopefully I can keep scoring from here on out,” he said.

Guys seem to be a little bit more at ease when we’re playing on the road. We seem to kind of play a little bit of a different style (on the road) - Craig Rivet
Saturday’s 6-1 win at New Jersey, which marked the first of four straight road games, marked the continuation of Buffalo’s strong play on the road.  The Sabres enter Tuesday’s game at Philadelphia with a 3-1-0 record away from HSBC Arena compared to a 0-4-1 mark at home.

“We’re still a little disappointed at the way we’ve played at home,” Rivet said.  “Guys seem to be a little bit more at ease when we’re playing on the road.  We seem to kind of play a little bit of a different style (on the road).  We’re going to be tested against a good team tomorrow (at Philadelphia).”

Ruff attributed the team’s road success to playing smart and limiting mistakes.

“We’ve played a real smart, hard game on the road,” he said.  “We played a real sound game (at New Jersey) and limited opportunities and didn’t make the big mistakes that we’ve been making at home which usually come from trying to do too much or just trying to press.”

The Sabres had all eight defensemen on the ice during Monday’s practice, including Craig Rivet (shoulder) and Shaone Morrisonn (groin), who have each missed time due to injury.  Rivet did not play Saturday night versus New Jersey while Morrisonn has been out of the lineup for the last five games.

Ruff did not give a definite return date on either player, but noted that Rivet is closer to returning than Morrisonn and a decision on Rivet’s availability would be made Tuesday.

With both players out of the lineup on Saturday, Mike Weber saw his first action of the 2010-11 season and logged 17:34 TOI.

Jason Pominville, who has missed the last six games with a concussion, continues to progress.  He participated in drills during Monday’s practice, and Ruff indicated that the forward was inching closer to a return to the lineup.

“He had his neuro-psych test today and we’re just waiting to see how that went,” Ruff said.  “Really, that’s the final hurdle before full contact.  He’s had some real good skating practice.  I wouldn’t anticipate him for tomorrow (at Philadelphia), but I would definitely consider him a real good possibility for the next two.”
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