Ruff already licking his chops

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Count Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff among those who can't wait to see Sid the Kid and Alexander the Great play on the same line.

Voted in as the Eastern Conference's starting forwards -- along with the Buffalo Sabres' Daniel Briere -- Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin will be on the ice together for the opening faceoff at the all-star game Jan. 24 in Dallas.

The NHL has put a lot of effort in marketing Ovechkin, the top pick in the 2004 entry draft by the Washington Capitals, and Crosby, who went first overall in '05 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now both will finally have the opportunity to showcase their skills on the ice for the same team.

"I think there will be a lot of cool things at the game and I think that's one of them," said Ruff, the head coach of the Eastern all-stars.

"When the roster gets filled, the options are endless. There will be all sorts of potentially cool combinations. We have lots of really talented players in the East and we should really take it to the West.

"We'll have a conversation with (assistant coach Bob Hartley) and try to put together the most dynamic line combinations possible."

Briere will be joined by fellow Sabres Bryan Campbell (on defence) and goalie Ryan Miller in the starting lineup. It marks the first time three players from the same team will make their all-star debuts after being voted in.


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