Ruff hopes the team will be a Cup contender

Sabres Hit the Ice, Prepare for Season Opener

October 5, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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October 5, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The Buffalo Sabres hit the practice ice at HSBC Arena Tuesday as they prepare to open the season Friday in Ottawa.

Thomas Vanek participated in practice after suffering an injury in the last preseason game, and it looks like he may be able to play Friday.

Captain Craig Rivet returned to a full practice after suffering a broken blood vessel in his neck, paired with Mike Weber during Tuesday's skate. Rivet says he is feeling better than he has in years following off-season shoulder surgery.

The Sabres are still over the 23-man roster limit for the regular season, with Mike Weber, Chris Butler and Andrej Sekera all vying for the final spot on the blue line. Goaltender Jhonas Enroth is also up with club, though Patrick Lalime took part in Tuesday's practice and will likely back-up Ryan Miller when the season starts Friday.

The team has also placed forward Matt Ellis on waivers.

The Sabres open up the home schedule Saturday, October 9 when the New York Rangers come to town.

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