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RUFF WON'T BE BEHIND THE BENCH TONIGHT

Wednesday, 02.08.2012 / 12:30 PM
By Kevin Snow - Sabres.com (@kwsnow) / THE MORNING SKATE
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THE MORNING SKATE
RUFF WON\'T BE BEHIND THE BENCH TONIGHT

LINEUP NEWS
- Lindy Ruff will not be behind the bench due to his rib injury; James Patrick will assume the head coaching  duties.
- Ryan Miller is expected to get the start in goal.
- Thomas Vanek skated with the team today for the first time since suffering an upper body injury in Montreal last Tuesday; he remains out of the lineup.

WHAT THEY WERE SAYING
James Patrick (click to hear full audio)
Will Lindy be able to coach tonight?
Lindy won’t be on the bench tonight. Kevyn and I, and Teppo, will be running the bench. Lindy is hoping to be here, that’s the plan right now. We had a meeting with him yesterday afternoon, and spoke to him at length this morning. That’s how it stands right now.

Will you stay with the defensemen or move over to the forwards?
No - I’ll move over to the forwards, and Kevyn is going to run the defense.

So if Lindy comes, will he be up in the press box?
Either the press box, or just in the office watching it on the big screen.

What’s it going to be like for you running the forwards?
Well, my first five years of coaching I worked with the forwards or worked at that end of the ice. It’ll be different, but I’ve been on the bench for 20 years as a player. The helpful thing is there’s a lot of veteran guys with Pommer, Gaustad and Derek Roy. It’s a pretty veteran lineup.

TONIGHT’S GAME: BRUINS at SABRES
-Third of six meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
-Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo, 4-3 (SO), in Buffalo on Nov. 23.
-The teams meet next on Friday, Feb. 24 in Buffalo.
-The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-4-2 at home.
-This is the 260th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo leads the series with a 112-108-39 record; Buffalo is 68-41-21 all-time against the Bruins at home.

STORYLINES
- Buffalo enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak (3-0-1), their longest since winning four straight from Nov. 4 to Nov. 11 before suffering a 6-2 loss to the Bruins on Nov. 12. Points tonight would give the Sabres their first five-game unbeaten streak since they finished last season on a 5-0-1 run.
- The Sabres have points in their last eight home games (4-0-4), with their last regulation loss at home coming on Dec. 10. It is the team’s longest such streak since 2009-10, when they went 9-0-3 in 12 home games from Dec. 9 to Jan. 29.
- With a win on Saturday at NYI, Ryan Miller broke Dominik Hasek’s franchise record of 234 wins with the Sabres. Miller’s 235th career victory marked the first time Hasek has not held the record since he surpassed Don Edwards (156 wins) on Nov. 3, 1998 in a 4-2 win vs. Boston. Edwards had previously held the record since March 11, 1979, when he passed Roger Crozier (74 wins) in a 9-4 victory over the Atlanta Flames.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Buffalo has faced Boston more than any other team in franchise history, with 259 games played between the two clubs … The Sabres are 10-5-3 (.638) with Tyler Ennis in the lineup … Buffalo is 18-2-2 when allowing two or fewer goals; 17-4-2 when scoring three or more … 16 of the Sabres’ last 19 games have been decided by two goals or less.

CLOSE AT HOME
The Sabres have seen nine of their last 11 home games decided by one goal, including each of the last five. Of Buffalo’s 26 home games this season, 17 have been decided by just one goal. The Sabres are 6-5-6 in these games.


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