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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Buffalo

Wild concludes season series against Sabres on Military Appreciation Night

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Wild Pregame vs. Buffalo

Wild Pregame vs. Buffalo

Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau and forwards Chris Stewart and Jordan Schroeder discuss playing the Sabres and the call-ups from Iowa

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The Essentials
Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT
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The Opponent

Since losing to the Wild last Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres have rattled off consecutive victories. Buffalo won both games it played over the weekend, defeating the Florida Panthers at home on Saturday before winning 3-1 in Winnipeg on Sunday night. Goaltender Robin Lehner, who missed the game against Minnesota last week, will get the start tonight. Lehner made 37 saves in the win over the Jets his last time out.

Connections

• Wild forward Jason Pominville was a second-round pick of the Sabres in 2001 and scored 185 goals and 456 points in 578 games with Buffalo from 2003-13. 

• Wild forward Chris Stewart played in 66 games with the Sabres over two seasons (2013-15), scoring 11 goals and 25 points.

• Sabres forward Matt Moulson scored six goals and had 13 points in 20 games with the Wild in 2013-14.

• Sabres forward Kyle Okposo is a St. Paul native and played one season at the University of Minnesota. 

• Sabres forward Johan Larsson was a second-round pick of the Wild in 2010 and made his NHL debut with Minnesota, playing in one game in 2012-13.

• Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson played three seasons at Minnesota State University.

Thank you for your service

The Wild is hosting the Sabres as part of Military Appreciation Night at Xcel Energy Center. Festivities include a ceremony to honor Purple Heart recipients during the second intermission and a mites game during the first intermission that will feature kids from families involved with the United Heroes League. Team craniofacial surgeon David Hamlar, a brigadier general in the Minnesota Air National Guard, will make the "Let's Play Hockey!" call.

The Wild will also wear camo jerseys during warmups that will be auctioned at a later date. Each jerseys will be signed by the player wearing it; proceeds from the auction will benefit the United Heroes League and the Minnesota Wild Foundation.

At the Rink

The Wild were busy on Tuesday morning, announcing that former Sabre Zac Dalpe had successful surgery on his knee, a procedure that will keep him from the lineup for four to six weeks. With Zach Parise and Erik Haula also out, Minnesota recalled three players from Iowa: Christoph Bertschy, Tyler Graovac and Jordan Schroeder.

Schroeder will be making his season debut for Minnesota after scoring two goals and four points in 26 games with Minnesota last season. He was named the AHL's Player of the Week for last week, when he scored four goals and added three assists in three games.

Iowa went 2-1 in those games, including a pair of wins over the weekend against AHL-leading Milwaukee.

Video: Jordan Schroeder Pregame vs. Buffalo

"A lot of hard work goes in behind the scenes that a lot of [media doesn't] really see, so it's good to get rewarded," Schroeder said. "I have expectations of myself, I have high goals. And whenever I don't reach those goals, it's disappointing. I feel like I let myself down. But usually it takes me a few hours, maybe a day, to kind of regroup. And I say, 'I'm going to get back on my horse and I'm going to work as hard as I can to get back up.'"

Graovac and Bertschy each played in Minnesota's 4-0 win over Dallas on Saturday, with Graovac scoring his first NHL goal in the third period. Bertschy assisted on the goal for his first point in the League.

Video: Boudreau Pregame vs. Buffalo

With injuries comes opportunity, and Graovac said he views this as a chance to prove he belongs with the NHL club long term.

"The biggest thing with management here, they've always wanted me to play consistent hockey. That's been kind of the bottom line for me the first three years," Graovac said. "It's going to be a good challenge for me tonight to stay consistent whether it's faceoffs [or keeping] my feet moving. I've got some good wingers tonight and I'm looking forward to battling."

Chris Stewart, who missed practice because of an illness on Monday, was at morning skate and will play.

Video: Chris Stewart Pregame vs. Buffalo

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who carries a streak of 180 consecutive minutes of shutout hockey into the game, will get the nod in net.

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Nino Niederreiter - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Jordan Schroeder

Christoph Bertschy - Tyler Graovac - Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba

Nate Prosser - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

SABRES

Matt Moulson - Ryan O'Reilly - Kyle Okposo

Tyler Ennis - Zemgus Gergensons - Sam Reinhart

Marcus Foligno - Johan Larsson - Brian Gionta

Nicolas Deslauriers - Derek Grant - Nicholas Baptiste

Dmitry Kulikov - Zach Bogosian

Josh Gorges - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jake McCabe - Cody Franson

Robin Lehner

Anders Nilsson

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