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by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres
HELSINKI, FINLAND -- It was another travel day for the Buffalo Sabres today as they continued on with their season-opening European tour. After an 8 a.m. bus from the hotel in Heidelberg, Germany, the entire Sabres travel party boarded an Air Berlin charter to Helsinki. The two hour and 20 minute flight landed in Helsinki just before 3 p.m., then it was straight to the Hartwall Areena for a quick 45-minute practice.

Lindy Ruff didn’t tinker with lines at all after last night’s 8-3 win over Adler Mannheim. These were the four line combos on the ice today this afternoon:

Matt Ellis and Jochen Hecht both took part in the workout wearing red jerseys. Drew MacIntyre remains on the trip as Buffalo’s emergency third goalie.

Teppo Numminen is excited about his return home to Finland, and talked about his memories of playing some big games at Hartwall Areena.

“I would say the World Cup games are my favorite, when you have your best teams. It’s the best players in the world, and all the NHL players were there. Just to be involved with the talented players, playing for the same reason, playing for your country … it’s really special.”

Following practice, Ruff met with the media as usual. But there was nothing normal about this press conference. Rather than address the media in a scrum format, Ruff appeared at a podium in front of 25 members of the Buffalo, national and Finnish media that were in attendance. But the normal practice of the media asking all the questions is altered somewhat here as a moderator basically runs the press conference and asks most of the questions. Ruff seemed caught off guard

Despite being played at international venues, both of Buffalo’s games this weekend will be played using NHL-sized ice surfaces. To accommodate the changes, the benches at Hartwall Areena have been moved in 15 feet from the stands.

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