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Wild at Sabres preview

Injuries catching up with Buffalo, 1-5-2 in past eight; Minnesota eyes point in third straight

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

WILD (7-11-2) at SABRES (10-7-3)

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


The Game

Injuries will force the Buffalo Sabres to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen when they host the Minnesota Wild at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

The Sabres have lost a forward to injury in each of their past five games. The latest is Tage Thompson, who sustained an upper-body injury in a 4-1 loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Defenseman John Gilmour, who has been scratched in six straight, will play his fourth game of the season and for the first time since Nov. 1 for Buffalo, 1-5-2 in its past eight games after going 4-1-0 in its previous five.

The Wild are 3-4-2 in their past nine games. Trailing twice by two goals in an 4-3 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, Minnesota rallied to earn at least one point in consecutive games for the third time this season.


Players to watch

Wild forward Zach Parise has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past two games.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has scored each of Buffalo's past five goals and has seven points (two goals, five assists) in six games against Minnesota.


They said it

"I think it takes a little longer (for him to start producing) but he's playing well now, getting a little bit of confidence back. That goes a long way. Hopefully it'll continue." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on forward Zach Parise

"Just seems there's been guys going down at one moment, which is unfortunate. I think the toughest thing is trying not to do too much. Our depth is going to really show for us, with guys in the minors and so forth. There's been some good play from guys coming up and we're just going to need to do it by committee." -- Sabres forward Sam Reinhart


Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Ryan Donato -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Brad Hunt

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Nick Seeler

Injured: Marcus Foligno (lower body), Greg Pateryn (core muscle)


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Evan Rodrigues -- Conor Sheary

Jimmy Vesey -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Curtis Lazar

Zemgus Girgensons -- Rasmus Asplund

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Brandon Montour

Henri Jokiharju -- Colin Miller

John Gilmour

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Marco Scandella

Injured: Kyle Okposo (concussion), Tage Thompson (upper body), Johan Larsson (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (lower body), Marcus Johansson (upper body), Zach Bogosian (hip)


Status report

The Wild held an optional morning skate. ... Miller returns to the lineup for Buffalo after being scratched the past three games. … Scandella will be scratched.


Stat pack

Koivu is three points shy of 700 in the NHL. ... Ullmark is 3-0-0 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in three games against Minnesota.

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