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SABRES SHAKEUP LINES

Wednesday, 02.10.2010 / 2:37 PM / News
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SABRES SHAKEUP LINES
Thomas Vanek (Getty Images)
Head Coach Lindy Ruff is trying to give the Buffalo Sabres a much needed jump start by giving the lines a minor shake up this week.

Following a 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, Ruff opted to make a few changes at Wednesday’s practice; dropping Thomas Vanek to play alongside Tim Kennedy and Mike Grier, and shifting Clarke MacArthur to play with Vanek’s previous linemates in Derek Roy and Drew Stafford.

The line of Jochen Hecht, Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville stayed intact, while Paul Gaustad centered Adam Mair and Matt Ellis.

“I’m looking for a road lineup that will get us the win,” Ruff said prior to the team’s flight to North Carolina. “We’re trying to spread it out where one team can’t put out their so-called [top] defensive pair against one line or two lines. Now that it’s spread out amongst three, maybe we can get a little more balance.”

It’s certainly not the first time that Ruff has resorted to changing the lines this season, nor are the combinations unfamiliar. ‘The Frozen Four’ line of Vanek-Kennedy-Grier, as it has since been named by the broadcast, experienced some success together earlier this year.

“But they went through a stretch of five or six games where nothing was going on and we eventually broke that line up,” Ruff said. “Hopefully they can get something going and get the opportunities that are needed.”

The changes may not be the only modifications to the lineup before Thursday’s match-up with the Hurricanes. Ruff said that Steve Montador should be available after missing Tuesday’s game with an undisclosed injury. If he is put back into the rotation, and history repeats itself, it’s possible that Andrej Sekera could be the odd-man out.

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The team practiced for just over an hour on Wednesday before departing for the road trip. The defensemen had a 20-minute head start, however, as Ruff held a meeting with the forwards before they took the ice.

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Patrick Kaleta skated briefly on his own prior to the team taking the ice. The winger did not skate with any gear on, however, and seemed to be testing his injured foot. Kaleta has missed the last four games after being struck with a shot in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins and suffering some bad bruising.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82