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Similar Opponents Face Off In Buffalo

February 5, 2019, 2:24 PM ET [3 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Wild make a quick visit to Buffalo to face the struggling Sabres. Buffalo is on a seven game home stand that got off to a rough start on Friday night, with and 7-3 drubbing at the hands of the Blackhawks.

Buffalo has fallen outside the playoff top eight in the Eastern Conference, winning just eight of their last 26.

The Sabres took the first meeting with the Wild 3-2 back in mid-November, erasing a 2-0 Minnesota lead with the dagger being delivered by former Wild winger, Jason Pominville with just a minute and half remaining in regulation.

That game was a sign of things to come for the Wild, and appeared to be a coming of age sign for the Sabres as they were right in the thick of a 10 game winning streak. But the wheels quickly fell off and the Sabres have steadily fallen in the standings much like the Wild did following the first meeting.

Both teams are looking for consistency over the final two months and unrest abounds in both locker rooms. Much is expected of the Sabres with all of the high draft picks and the acquisition of Carter Hutton to solidify the goaltending and the addition of Jeff Skinner.

Kyle Rau and Luke Kunin were recalled yesterday, replacing Nate Prosser and J.T. Brown who both cleared waivers and were assigned to Iowa. The speedy Rau gives the Wild fourth line some more speed and tenacity while Kunin looks to have an impact on one of the scoring lines.

The Wild offense, subject to long stretches of ineptitude, need to find something that works more consistently. With the exception of Zach Parise, who is always going the entire rest of the Wild offense has been up and down all season.

Boudreau reunited Eruc Staal with Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker and the move yielded a number of quality scoring chances against the Hawks on Saturday night. The trio is still the closest the Wild can get to having a legit number one line.

In order for Granlund to be most effective he must play with the Wild's top talent. Mikko Koivu's days at top level offensively are a few years behind him. Putting Granny with Koivu absolutely benefits the captain but at a severe price to the Wild offense.

It's Always Hockey Day in The State of Hockey!

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