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Preview: Wild at Sabres

Nilsson starts again for Buffalo; Minnesota concludes four-game road trip

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (4-2-1) at SABRES (1-2-2)

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

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild close out a four-game road trip against the Buffalo Sabres and will have the same lineup they used in a 5-0 win against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The Wild are 1-1-1 on the trip and would like to head home on a positive note. "We'd like to do it; we'd like to put as much room between us and .500 as possible," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We'd like to come away with one regulation loss in four games on the road and build it up." Devan Dubnyk, who is 3-1-1 with a .929 save percentage this season, will start. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon and forward Erik Haula won't play. Spurgeon skated again on Thursday and Haula did not. "[They're] close," Boudreau said. "They'll be back soon… Haula skated yesterday and [Spurgeon] skated the last two or three days. We'll see how tomorrow winds up in practice and hopefully, if everything goes well, they might be eligible for Saturday's game."

 

Sabres team scope

Anders Nilsson will make his second consecutive start for the Buffalo Sabres in place of Robin Lehner who is out with an illness. "He is starting to feel better although I wouldn't say he's ready to be around the group," coach Dan Bylsma said of Lehner. "That may possibly happen tomorrow if he continues to feel better and progress; so maybe tomorrow." Ryan O'Reilly has three goals and three assists in the first five games, but the Sabres have one win. "Honestly I think I got one lucky game in Edmonton where things kind of bounced my way," O'Reilly said. "It happens and I'm grateful for that, but I definitely have to produce more and I'm not, by any means, satisfied. By looking at the games, I've got to help give us a better chance at winning and that's on me."

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Teemu Pulkkinen -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker -- Zac Dalpe -- Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Christian Folin

Marco Scandella -- Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: None

Injured: Erik Haula (lower body), Jared Spurgeon (upper body)

 

Sabres projected lineup

Matt Moulson -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Kyle Okposo

Zemgus Girgensons -- Sam Reinhart -- Tyler Ennis

Marcus Foligno -- Johan Larsson -- Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Derek Grant -- Hudson Fasching

Josh Gorges -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Dmitry Kulikov -- Zach Bogosian

Jake McCabe -- Cody Franson

Anders Nilsson

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: Casey Nelson

Injured: Robin Lehner (illness), Jack Eichel (high ankle sprain), Evander Kane (cracked ribs)

 

Status report

Pominville will be used on the point on the power play. ... Ristolainen will play in his 200th NHL game.

 

Who's hot

Dumba, Granlund, and Staal each have two-game assists streaks. ... Niederreiter has a two-game point streak with a goal and an assist… Ristolainen is tied with O'Reilly for the Sabres lead in points with six. Moulson leads the NHL with four power-play goals.

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