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Wild at Sabres preview

Minnesota has lost two straight; Buffalo 2-6-0 in past eight games

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

WILD (26-22-4) at SABRES (25-20-6)

7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV


The Game

The Minnesota Wild seek a sixth straight win at the Buffalo Sabres when the teams play at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

The Wild, who have lost two straight after a three-game winning streak, last lost in Buffalo on March 24, 2012. They are 9-2-0 all-time at the Sabres.

Buffalo is coming off a 7-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and is 2-6-0 in its past eight games. The Sabres have allowed at least four goals in six of those games.


Players to watch

Wild forward Mikael Granlund has four assists during a three-game point streak after going eight games without a point.   

Sabres forward Jack Eichel has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"It's a very big game; it sets the tone for the week. Everybody that we're playing at this stage is hungry for points so you're getting the best efforts. Coming into a building that's sometimes tough to win in, playing a team that beat us already this year, it's a good test." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"Stuff like this, when you change the lines like that, it can't distract us from the way we need to play. I think it all comes back to that. Different lines are going to be different lines, but we have to play better without the puck and we have to defend better. No matter what line combinations you throw out there, if you don't do that you're not going to win many games." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo


Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Charlie Coyle

Jordan Greenway -- Victor Rask -- Luke Kunin

Kyle Rau -- Eric Fehr -- Marcus Foligno

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Greg Pateryn

Anthony Bitetto -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Nick Seeler, Matt Hendricks

Injured: Matt Dumba (upper body), Pontus Aberg (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Conor Sheary -- Jack Eichel -- Kyle Okposo

Jeff Skinner -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Jason Pominville

C.J. Smith -- Evan Rodrigues -- Sam Reinhart

Zemgus Girgensons -- Vladimir Sobotka -- Tage Thompson

Rasmus Dahlin -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Lawrence Pilut -- Zach Bogosian

Marco Scandella - Jake McCabe

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Nathan Beaulieu, Matt Hunwick

Injured: Johan Larsson (upper body), Casey Nelson (upper body)


Status report

Bitetto, claimed off waivers by Minnesota on Jan. 25, could make his Wild debut, replacing Seeler.


Stat pack

Zucker is two points from 200 in the NHL. Dubnyk is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in his past four starts. … Pominville needs one point to move past Mike Foligno (511) into sole possession of eighth place in Sabres history.

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