Angered by Chris Neil's elbow to Sabres forward Chris Drury, Ruff sent out tough guys Andrew Peters, Patrick Kaleta and Adam Mair to take a faceoff against Ottawa's Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Mike Comrie.
Afterward, Ruff admitted to telling his players to: "Go out and run 'em."
Drury suffered a suspected concussion and 20-stitch gash on his forehead when he crashed to the ice after being blindsided by Neil in the second period.
Neil, who was not penalized for the hit, insisted he caught Drury with a clean shoulder check. Ruff complained to the referees that Neil used his elbow.
The two teams meet again tonight in Ottawa and NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell will be there.