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Lexus

Mock Exhibition Game

Friday, 09.22.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Mock Exhibition Game
Goaltender Martin Biron stood at the end of the bench and tried to rally his team with a few words of encouragement.

"Come on guys, we can still win this one," shouted the good-spirited netminder to the remainder of his White squad.

But Biron's call-to-arms fell on deaf ears, as defenseman Mike Card beat goaltender Adam Dennis with a fake to the left post in the final shootout of the Sabres first night practice of training, giving the Blue team an 8-6 victory.

Approximately 1,400 fans were in attendance as Ruff's team worked on five-on-five, five-on-four and five-on-three situations during the two-hour practice.

"[Night practices] are a good thing during camp," said Ruff. "The mornings become almost like a game preparation for the players and we look at it as almost another exhibition game."

Buffalo will continue its preseason schedule tonight when the team travels to Ottawa to square off with the Senators in the Scotiabank Place at 7:30 p.m (WGR 550-AM).

"We were looking for some good things out of some good players [Thursday night] and I thought it was a good scrimmage over all," said Ruff. "It was designed to get some results on special teams."

UP AND RUNNING
Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere skated on his own prior to Thursday night's practice. Briere had been sidelined after suffering a hip flexor in the first period of Buffalo's 4-0 win in Toronto on Monday.

Ruff stated Thursday that he anticipated Briere to return to full practice on Friday and would like to see the forward from Gatineau, Quebec in the lineup for at least two of Buffalo's remaining four preseason games.

COMPETING FOR A SPOT
As training camp enters it's second and final week, players battling for positions will begin to see more and more ice time. Following Thursday night's practice, Ruff said roster hopefuls Jiri Novotny, Chris Thorburn, Michael Ryan and Nathan Paetsch are expected to be in the lineup for at least three of Buffalo's last four games.

"With the short preseason schedule, we will have to do some evaluating in practice but the majority will come in the games," said Ruff. "We'll try to give those players an opportunity to either win a job or lose a job."

At the moment, waiver eligibility of the four - each would have to clear waivers if sent down to Rochester - is that last thing on Ruff's mind.

Said Ruff: "Those are the guys that are competing for a job and that's the only way we can look at it."

LISTENING ONLINE

Fans wanting to listen to tonight's broadcast of the Sabres/Senators game (7:30 p.m., WGR 550-AM) online can do so through WGR550.com, the Sabres official radio partner. The NHL Network will not be providing an online broadcast for any of Buffalo's preseason games. Those transmissions will begin with the start of the regular season on October 4. Click here for more information.

TONIGHT'S LINEUP
Below are Buffalo's lines for tonight's matchup with the Senators.

FORWARDS
Daniel Paille -- Chris Drury -- Ales Kotalik
Thomas Vanek -- Jiri Novotny -- Jason Pominville
Michael Ryan -- Derek Roy -- Maxim Afinogenov
Andrew Peters -- Paul Gaustad -- Chris Thorburn

DEFENSE

Brian Campbell -- Jaroslav Spacek
Nathan Paetsch -- Teppo Numminen
Andrej Sekera -- Toni Lydman

GOALTENDERS
Martin Biron
Ryan Miller

SCHEDULE

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