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Sabers @ Wild, Line Combinations, Buffalo Notes and Key Figures

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Minnesota is in need of a win on home ice.

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Line Combinations

Minnesota has lost four of their last six and are in desperate need of a win against a(nother) lackluster Buffalo Sabers team. The Wild have dropped their last two home games (Philadelphia and New Jersey) to mediocre teams too. Heck, the Wild have not won a home game since December 28th. Just one change to the lines tonight and that's Chris Porter in for Ryan Carter. Carter is dealing with issues to both of his hands so Porter will slide back in. Mike Reilly will remain with team too with Nate Prosser still ailing. Yeo expects Prosser to be back by the weekend. Reilly has not looked too over-matched in his limited time this season. Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild tonight.

Buffalo Notes

The Buffalo Sabers may still find themselves at the bottom of the division but things are looking up. Jack Eichel has looked solid in his rookie debut, Sam Reinhart has quietly had a nice sophomore season and Rasmus Ristolainen has also looked good. All three of those players are 21 and YOUNGER. With solid veteran presence like Ryan O'Reilly and Evander Kane? This team could be alright if they found some steady defensemen and goaltending.

Key Figures

This is the 17th game all-time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has a 7-9-0 series record.

If they maintain their current pace, Jack Eichel(13+14) and Sam Reinhart(12+7) would be the first pair of Sabres rookies to surpass the 30-point mark since Thomas Vanek (48) and Jason Pominville (30) did so in 2005-06.

For the third straight year, Minnesota faces Buffalo for its 43rd game of the season. Last season, Minnesota entered the contest on a six-game losing streak (0-5-1), Minnesota earned a 7-0 shutout victory in Buffalo on Jan. 15, 2015 to begin a stretch of 28-9-3 to finish the season.

The Wild finishes a stretch where it faces an Eastern Conference opponent in six of seven games (Jan. 2-12). Minnesota is 8-5-2 against the East this season, including 4-2-1 against the Atlantic Division.