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Veteran-laden lineup set for Sabres' preseason opener

The Sabres are hoping a successful preseason will propel them toward a solid start once the puck drops for real in October. They'll kick off their exhibition schedule Saturday with a long list of familiar names.

Goaltender Ryan Miller, forwards Thomas Vanek, Derek Roy, Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville, and defensemen Tyler Myers, Shaone Morrisonn, Chris Butler and Andrej Sekera are among those set to face the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m. Saturday in HSBC Arena.

"We focused on our preseason last year, came through that and had a real good start," coach Lindy Ruff said after practice today. "We want to play the games hard. We want to put a lot into the preseason games so we’re ready for the regular season."

Miller and Portland starter Jhonas Enroth are scheduled to split the crease time. The full lineup:

Thomas Vanek-Derek Roy-Drew Stafford

Luke Adam-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Tyler Ennis-Rob Niedermayer-Zack Kassian

Nathan Gerbe-Paul Gaustad-Cody McCormick

Shaone Morrisonn-Tyler Myers

Chris Butler-Drew Schiestel

Brayden McNabb-Andrej Sekera

Ryan Miller

Jhonas Enroth

"It’s going to be a mix," Ruff said. "Some of the young guys -- Ennis, Gerbe, Kassian, Adam, guys like that -- are going to get a chance to play. At the same time, a good group of veteran players where we want to, on home ice, have a good showing."

Captain Craig Rivet, meanwhile, practiced only briefly today before leaving the ice with an undisclosed injury.

"He left the ice and we’re getting him checked out," Ruff said. "It has nothing to do with his shoulder, though."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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