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NOTEBOOK: LESS ROOM, MORE WORK

Tuesday, 10.6.2009 / 3:52 PM ET / All News
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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NOTEBOOK: LESS ROOM, MORE WORK
Lindy Ruff (Photo: Getty Images)
Special teams were again the focus of practice for the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday afternoon.

After completing a strenuous two-session skate on Monday, the team continued their work at the Amherst Pepsi Center.

“Yesterday’s practice was about trying to get those better scoring chances,” winger Jason Pominville said. “I think when we look at the Montreal game, we generated a lot of shots, but not enough scoring chances… Even five-on-five it’s been our talk.”

With five days in between games - the longest lapse the Sabres have all season due to the Olympic Break - Head Coach Lindy Ruff said this week has essentially been modeled after training camp.

“Basically that’s what we tried to do,” he said. “Tomorrow will be that 45-minute, high tempo [practice], getting ready for the game on Thursday [against Phoenix].”

The first power play unit featured Craig Rivet and Tim Connolly with Clarke MacArthur, Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy.

Chris Butler and Tyler Myers were stationed on the point of the second unit with Drew Stafford, Paul Gaustad and Pominville.
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Lindy Ruff
Jason Pominville
Adam Mair
Tim Kennedy

Ruff said practicing in the Pepsi Center may do some good for the units with a smaller ice surface and less room in the zone.

“Practicing the power play in this rink is a little bit more frustrating. I didn’t tell them that, but I noticed it. I could see some frustration,” he said. “I think practicing here in the zone with four-feet less, and less room behind the net, is an opportunity to do things quicker.

“You feel that when you don’t have the extra ice or the extra time.”

The Sabres host the Coyotes at 7 p.m. on Thursday at HSBC Arena. Tickets are still available.



Adam Mair [hip] spoke to the media, saying that he is progressing and hopes to return to the lineup soon.

Ruff said Toni Lydman [hand] will ‘probably be ready’ in time for Thursday’s game against Phoenix, although the defenseman said he was still feeling some restrictions while shooting



University of Minnesota alumnus Thomas Vanek showed support for the Minnesota Twins, leaving the Pepsi Center wearing a Justin Morneau jersey. The Twins face the Detroit Tigers tonight in a one-game tiebreaker to see who will face the New York Yankees in the ALDS.



The American Hockey League suspended Portland Pirates defenseman Joe DiPenta for one game due to a slashing incident in Springfield on Oct. 3 on Falcons’ Kip Brennan.

DiPenta will miss Portland's game on Friday, Oct. 9 in Albany.

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