Sabres prepare for European 'working vacation'

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Coach Lindy Ruff wants to make one thing clear when it comes to the Buffalo Sabres jetting off to Europe to open their season.

Don't call it a vacation, Ruff cautions as the Sabres prepare for an eight-day trip that opens Saturday, a day after closing their NHL preseason schedule at Washington.

It's a journey in which the Sabres will play an exhibition game against German pro team Adler-Mannheim on Tuesday. They'll then open the season playing Anaheim at Helsinki, Finland on Oct. 7, followed by a game against Los Angeles in Berlin a day later.

Ruff has emphasized to his players that this is a "work trip."

The players are looking forward to playing in Europe, particularly Buffalo's two native Germans, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and forward Jochen Hecht.