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Buffalo
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31 SOG
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MIN
game preview

Sabres, Wild each searching for offense

Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 5:47 PM

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

SABRES (11-25-4) at WILD (20-17-5)

TV: MSG-B, BELL TV, FS-N

Last 10: Buffalo 5-3-2; Minnesota 2–8-0

Season series: This is the second and final game of the season between the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild. Jason Pominville scored the game-winning goal in his first game back in Buffalo since being traded to Minnesota last April and the Wild defeated the Sabres 2-1 on Oct. 14 at First Niagara Center.

Big story: The Wild have lost a franchise-record six consecutive games in regulation and the Sabres haven't won on the road since a 5-4 shootout win against the San Jose Sharks Nov. 5, so something has to give. Buffalo has won once on the road in regulation and their 3-13-2 record away from home is last in the NHL.

Team Scope:

Sabres: A big part of Buffalo's struggles has been their inability to score goals. The Sabres' 113 goals against is middle of the pack, but their League-low 71 goals scored is 24 behind the Nashville Predators. Their minus-42 goal differential is also last in the League.

"We're the type of team that can't have any kind of turnover or mistake and get caught trying to fight back," Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. "Our offense, it's tough to score goals. It's just one of those things."

Wild: Minnesota called up forward Jason Zucker on Wednesday to try and inject some offense into a lineup that has scored 97 goals, third-worst in the Western Conference. The two teams behind the Wild, the Predators (95) and Calgary Flames (96), have each played two fewer games.

"It feels a little bit like Groundhog Day right now, the difference is that every game has been a different story," coach Mike Yeo said. "Every game is different and you got to find a way to win. It's making a play here or there, it's whatever it takes. We've got to find a way."

Who's hot: Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller has won four of his past five starts, including a 49-save performance in a 2-1 shootout win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday. Miller hasn't allowed more than three goals in a game since Nov. 19 … Mikko Koivu has scored at least one point in three straight games and leads the Wild with 31 points in 42 games.

Injury report: Sabres center Cody Hodgson (left wrist, thumb) has missed the past five games and was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Forward Kevin Porter (leg) and defenseman Henrik Tallinder (upper body) are also out… Wild forward Zach Parise (fractured left foot) is out and defenseman Clayton Stoner (lower body) is questionable.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 02 '14BUF 1 at MIN 4J. Pominville
Oct 14 '13MIN 2 at BUF 1J. Pominville
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Moulson39131326-62271
C. Hodgson3381119-101240
T. Ennis418816-121630
Z. Girgensons4041014-8200
C. Ehrhoff4021214-91801
D. Stafford414913-92901
M. Foligno375611-95701
T. Myers413811-154410
S. Ott415510-184331
T. Vanek13459-5410
J. McBain29268-7410
B. Flynn39336-4200
H. Tallinder34246-122000
V. Leino26066-6600
M. Pysyk36145-101201
C. McCormick25145-64300
M. Grigorenko18213-3200
M. Ellis9213+1000
M. Weber27022-193100
M. D'Agostini23022-2400
J. Scott23101-86400
R. Ristolainen19101-4400
L. Adam9101+0200
N. Zadorov7101-4400
J. Larsson19011-21300
K. Porter12011-5200
A. Sulzer10011+0000
C. Tropp9011-8000
L. Omark6000-2400
B. McNabb5000+0200
P. Kaleta5000-1500
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Miller2910-18-17810542.70.926
J. Enroth131-8-3323562.60.910
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu4382533-41813
J. Pominville43181129-11055
Z. Parise37151227+11882
R. Suter4322426-12000
N. Niederreiter4371320+62410
M. Granlund3031316-31211
M. Cooke4351015+72002
J. Brodin407613+01430
D. Heatley438412-141430
J. Fontaine378412+61601
J. Spurgeon4311112+61010
C. Coyle314711-92111
K. Brodziak433811+22000
M. Scandella402911+41801
T. Mitchell40178-41300
K. Ballard26055-63100
C. Stoner37033-13900
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
N. Prosser17022-52300
E. Haula10022+3000
S. Veilleux15101-4600
J. Zucker8101-1000
M. Rupp8011+1500
B. Bulmer4000+0200
C. McMillan1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
N. Backstrom173-9-2474503.16.896
D. Kuemper20-1-06166.10.625