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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
A charley horse won’t keep Derek Roy out of the playoff race.

The centerman said he expects to be ready for tomorrow night’s home-and-home series finale with the Ottawa Senators, after taking a hit along the boards in last night’s match-up.

“I skated on it today and it feels better so hopefully I’ll be ready for tomorrow,” Roy said after Wednesday’s practice. “I should be ready to go tomorrow.”

With less than five minutes remaining in the third period, Sens’ defenseman Andrej Meszaros caught Roy outside the blueline “and his knee happened to catch me right in the thigh which gave me a charley horse. I had a hard time getting up and putting pressure on it,” Roy said.

“He knew I was going to beat him wide and this was his only chance to stop me. I don’t know if it was his hip or his knee or whatever, but it happens,” he continued.

Roy returned to the bench for one last shift before succumbing to the pain.

“You don’t want to push injuries and not be able to skate out there and perform. You want to go out and play well,” Roy said. “I’m not forcing the comeback. I’m feeling good so I’m going to be ready.”

The Buffalo Sabres are looking to another Eastern Conference team for some inspiration.

Chasing a playoff berth, the Sabres can relate to the 2006-07 New York Islanders.

“You look at last year, the Islanders made the playoffs in the last game in a shootout with their last shooter and ended up winning it,” captain Jason Pominville said. “We’re still in it, we still believe and we just have to go out there and focus on our next game.”

“I think your long term [focus] is it can be done,” head coach Lindy Ruff said. “The Islanders did it in the shootout with their last shot to get in the playoffs last year and for us, if we take care of business, we’ve got Boston twice. If we take care of that without looking ahead, it’s still possible.”

Ruff continued to praise Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera for their efforts in filling in for veterans Jaroslav Spacek and Dmitri Kalinin.

“I think our youth has served us well,” Ruff said. “Our young players, and I said it last night, even our two young D were our best defensemen.”

Weber has compiled a plus-14 rating in six gamesduring his second recall of the season from Rocheter. Sekera has also done well in that category, with a plus-10 rating in 10 games played. Sekera is also averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time each game.

“We’re going to continue to play our game and part of that game is our defensemen have to be involved. I thought on a couple goals [Weber] did a great job. I thought Andrej did a great job,” Ruff said. “We wanted Andrej and Mike to be involved. Part of our attack and part of our strength has been our play in the offensive zone with our defense involved.”
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