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Buffalo used five-forward power play Thursday

04.16.2010 / 6:43 PM ET

The Buffalo Sabres often use forwards Tim Connolly and Jason Pominville on the point during power plays, always teamed with a defenseman. Thus, it was surprising to see both Kennedy and Connolly manning the points during a third-period power play in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. The Sabres had five forwards on the ice at one time.

Pominville has played a bit on defense at almost every level he's played. He's never been listed as a defenseman but coaches have always taken advantage of his heady play and good size in some special situations.

Connolly's superior offensive skills would dissuade any coach from taking him off the attack.

"That's the first time I've seen Connolly and Pominville both out there on a power play, together," said longtime Sabres' chronicler Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News. "Sabres coach Lindy Ruff often uses one or the other with one of the defensemen on the power play but I've never seen them together.

"There have been times when Lindy has given Jason's defensive shifts when the team was short of healthy defensemen and he even played most of one game back there. Lindy's not afraid to use them because they both kill penalties. They're very good defensively."

--John McGourty

Saturday's Lines and Pairings

04.16.2010 / 6:43 PM ET

At their Friday news conferences, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said he didn't anticipate any lineup changes for Saturday's nationally televised Game 2 at 1 p.m. at HSBC Arena. The game can been seen on NBC.

Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said he wouldn't discuss any possible personnel changes. Local writers say that's a departure from the regular season when Ruff would talk about upcoming line changes and roster changes.

Both coaches were asked if playing in the afternoon favors one team or the other. Ruff said Boston plays a lot of afternoon games and Buffalo very few, so there might be some advantage to Boston. Julien rolled his eyes and asked if he had to answer the question. The Sabres beat the Bruins, 4-2, in Boston on Jan. 3, 2009, in an afternoon game. Ryan Miller was outstanding that day -- so it's not like the Sabres can't do it.

Here are the lines and pairings for Saturday's game:

Buffalo:

Forwards

Tim Kennedy-Derek Roy-Thomas Vanek

Tyler Ennis-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Adam Mair-Paul Gaustad-Mike Grier

Raffi Torres-Matt Ellis-Patrick Kaleta

Defense

Toni Lydman-Steve Montador

Henrik Tallinder-Tyler Myers

Andrej Sekera-Craig Rivet

Goalie

Ryan Miller

Boston:

Forwards

Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi

Marco Sturm-David Krejci-Miroslav Satan

Blake Wheeler-Vladimir Sobotka-Michael Ryder

Dan Paille-Steve Begin-Shawn Thornton

Defense :

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Wideman

Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk

Matt Hunwick-Adam McQuaid

Goalie

Tuukka Rask

But don't be surprised if the defensive pairings change. Julien said he won't be using pairings per se -- so expect Chara, Wideman and Boychuk to log some extra shifts.

--John McGourty

Recchi's not going anywhere yet

04.16.2010 / 6:43 PM ET

At 42, Mark Recchi is the NHL's oldest player and the leading active scorer with 1,485 points. He finished fourth on the Bruins this season with 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points. That's about half what he used to get in his heyday, but he's still an important part of the Bruins because of the professionalism, insights, constant hard play and support that he gives his teammates.

Recchi was asked if he is thinking of joining Keith Tkachuk, who recently retired after a long, distinguished career.

"I'll think about it at the end of the year," Recchi said. "The thought hasn't crossed my mind yet this year. Things went well this year and I hope they continue through the playoffs and we have a good run. Then I'll sit down and think about what I really want to do."

Recchi was asked what it meant to him be the NHL's leading active scorer?

"Nothing right now," he said. "We're in the playoffs and that's where my thoughts are now. I don't know where I stand on half those things. I've got people who tell me those things, friends and family, to keep me updated.

"I love this time of year and hopefully we can really enjoy this. I want to grab this and embrace it. I like watching the players and how they react. That's the fun part for me now."

Recchi was asked how he's been able to continue playing into his 40s.

"Red Wine," he cracked. Recchi has an impressive collection which he said he recently expanded. Recchi was asked by a local writer if he stocks Ontario wines. He didn't turn up his nose, but the Kamloops, B.C., native said with pride, "No, but I have a lot of British Columbia wines, Okanagan Valley."

--John McGourty

Line combos from skates

04.15.2010 / 2:23 PM ET

The Buffalo Sabres held a light practice Thursday morning at HSBC Arena prior to Game 1 of their Eastern Conference

Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins followed with an optional practice at which about half of their players skated.

The biggest news from practice: Buffalo's Jochen Hecht didn't practice and won't play tonight. Andrew Ference will play for the Bruins.

The lines for Game 1 tonight for Buffalo are:

Tim Kennedy-Derek Roy-Thomas Vanek

Tyler Ennis-Tim Connolly-Jason Pominville

Adam Mair-Paul Gaustad-Mike Grier

Raffi Torres-Matt Ellis-Patrick Kaleta

The defense pairings:

Toni Lydman and Steve Montador

Henrik Tallinder and Tyler Myers

Andrej Sekera and Craig Rivet

Goalie: Ryan Miller

For Boston:

Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi

Marco Sturm-David Krejci-Miroslav Satan

Blake Wheeler-Vladimir Sobotka-Michael Ryder

Dan Paille-Steve Begin-Shawn Thornton

The defense pairings:

Zdeno Chara and Dennis Wideman

Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk

Matt Hunwick and Adam McQuaid

Goalie: Tuukka Rask

Warning: Bruins coach Claude Julien said he won't be using pairings per se. Chara, Wideman and Boychuk are expected to log a lot of ice time. Ference will be worked back into the rotation.

-- John McGourty

Sabres lose Hecht

04.15.2010 / 12:18 PM ET

The Buffalo Sabres will be without forward Johan Hecht for their series with the Boston Bruins. Hecht had another medical procedure on his broken finger and according to coach Lindy Ruff is now out for "weeks."

-- Phil Coffey