Greetings from the Northtown Center in Amherst, where the Sabres are conducting their final practice before the puck drops on the 2010-11 season Friday in Ottawa. It's almost exclusively power-play work, so that gives us a glimpse into Friday's lineup. It appears Andrej Sekera will be in it.
Sekera is manning the point on the second power-play unit, almost a sure sign he will play against the Senators. He is joined on the blue line by Jordan Leopold, while Thomas Vanek, Paul Gaustad and Tim Connolly are up front.
The first unit features Derek Roy, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford up front, with Tyler Myers and Jason Pominville at the point.
It appears the forward scratch could be Nathan Gerbe or Jochen Hecht as they were splitting the left wing spot on a line with Rob Niedermayer and Mike Grier. Hecht said during training camp his pinkie, which underwent surgery last spring, wasn't 100 percent. The other lines are Ennis-Roy-Stafford, Vanek-Connolly-Pominville, and Cody McCormick-Gaustad-Patrick Kaleta.
POST-PRACTICE UPDATE: Coach Lindy Ruff said everyone is healthy and ready to play, which likely makes Gerbe the scratch against the Senators.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Senators sniper Jason Spezza missed practice today with a groin injury and could miss Friday's opener.
In case you haven't yet gone to the store to buy our NHL Preview Section, it's now available online. But, trust me, it looks better in print so go spend the 75 cents.