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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Buffalo

Wild heads east for one-game trip to take on Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (7-11-2) at Buffalo Sabres (10-7-3)

Puck drop: 6:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: FM 100.3 KFAN, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Wild begins a busy week of games -- and travel -- on Tuesday night when it opens a stretch of seven games of 10 on the road against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.

Minnesota has spent a bulk of the early part of the season on the road, but the next week presents a unique twist to the schedule. Less than a week since returning from 10 days in the Pacific Time Zone, the Wild will head east twice in the next five days.

After playing the Sabres, the club will return to Minnesota for a single home game on Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, before heading east again Friday to begin a three-games-in-four-nights stretch versus the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. 

Minnesota secured three of a possible four points in its most recent home games, winning 3-2 against the Arizona Coyotes and losing 4-3 in overtime to he Carolina Hurricanes.

Video: Bruce Boudreau Monday practice update

The Wild has earned at least a point in six consecutive games at home, but will try and transition that success to the road. It went 2-2 on its recent four-game western road trip, but thought it left at least two points on the table there. 

Defenseman Greg Pateryn practiced in full on Monday for the first time since sports hernia surgery in early October. He's not on the trip to Buffalo, but is inching closer to a return -- perhaps as soon as the upcoming trip to Boston and New York. 

Buffalo is dealing with its own injuries, with six players appearing on its most recent injury report. 

Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson are nursing long-term injuries and will not play. Neither will St. Paul native Kyle Okposo, who is dealing with another concussion. 

Former Wild forward Johan Larsson, forward Marcus Johansson and defenseman Zach Bogosian are each considered day-to-day but are unlikely for the game on Tuesday. 

Bogosian seems the closest to returning to the lineup, although with a glut of defensemen currently on the roster, he actually took reps as the team's fourth-line right wing at practice on Monday. He hasn't played a game yet this season as he continues to recover from hip surgery he had in April. 

The onslaught of injuries has hit the Sabres especially hard. 

After a red-hot start to the season (9-2-1), Buffalo is just 1-5-1 so far in the month of November and has lost seven of its past eight since Oct. 28. 

The Sabres are led offensively by centerman Jack Eichel, who has 13 goals and 24 points in 20 games. Sam Reinhart has eight goals and 17 points while Jeff Skinner, who set a career high with 40 goals last season, has eight tallies among 13 points.

Carter Hutton has started 12 of Buffalo's 20 games so far, posting a 6-4-2 record to go with a 2.73 goals-against average. average and a .909 save percentage. Backup Linus Ullmark is 4-3-1 with a 2.98 goals against and .915 save percentage. 

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