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Sabres vs. Wild preview: Two slumps enter, one slump leaves

Two teams that are a combined 3-15-2 in their last 20 games face off tonight in Buffalo, and the world will be watching.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game #45

Buffalo Sabres (14-27-3) vs.
Minnesota Wild (18-19-5)

Puck Drop: 7:00 pm EST | First Niagara Center | Buffalo, NY
TV: MSG, FS-N, FS-WI, Bell | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness

Three Questions

1. Both of these teams are mired in huge slumps. Will either of the take control of the game, or will this be an exercise in mutual futility?

The Wild come in to tonight's matchup having lost four in a row, while the Sabres have lost their last eight. The Wild could get a spark tonight, as the team just traded for goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who will get the start tonight. The Sabres will turn to Jhonas Enroth and the probable return of Chris Stewart to give their offense some life, as both teams desperately need a win to snap their streak of bad juju.

2. Ted Nolan moved Tyler Myers to the front of the net on the Sabres power play, but will it spark the worst unit in the league?

Tyler Myers is large, and can theoretically block more of the goaltenders vision? This seems kind of like the "put a super fat guy in net, he'll take up more space" argument, but what do I know. The worst power play in the NHL needs all the help it can get, and if this provides the Wild with a small moment of confusion and/or obstruction, it could pay off.

3. How will Nikita Zadorov look returning to the lineup after two games in the press box?

After a very promising start, the rookie defenseman saw his play tail off considerably, and finally got benched for it. Zadorov has had some time in the press box to watch the game and clear his head, and the Sabres would be very happy to see him return to form paired once again with Rasmus Ristolainen.

Projected BUF lines

Moulson - Girgensons - Ennis
Flynn - Mitchell - Stafford
Hodgson - Varone - Stewart
Deslauriers - Dalpe - Kaleta

Gorges - Myers
Zadorov- Ristolainen
Weber - Meszaros

Goal: Jhonas Enroth