Preseason Game #6
Buffalo Sabres (4-1-0) at
Minnesota Wild (3-2-0)
Puck Drop: 8:00 pm EST | Xcel Energy Center| St. Paul, Minn.
TV: None | Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness
The Sabres will give some of their more inexperienced players a chance to prove themselves tonight in Minnesota in a rematch of the preseason-opener versus the Wild. This is Minnesota's final preseason tune-up before the games start counting for real, and Buffalo will go up against a number of the Wild's regulars, including their projected top three lines, top six defensemen, and goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
There will be a few familiar faces on the Minnesota side tonight, as former Sabres Zac Dalpe, Jason Pominville, and Thomas Vanek are all expected to play tonight.
One Buffalo line to watch for tonight is the McGinn - Larsson - Reinhart grouping. That has the looks of a potential third line to start the season. Larsson has impressed Bylsma so far this preseason, so this could be his best shot to prove he belongs in the opening night lineup.
On the blue line, Matt Donovan, Jake McCabe, and Chad Ruhwdel can make their cases that they should stick around in the wake of injuries to Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges.
Patrick Kaleta makes his first appearance of the preseason after battling an injury. William Carrier was recalled from Rochester this morning and will play tonight for the Sabres. Chad Johnson gets the start in goal with Nathan Lieuwen backing him up.
Projected BUF lines
Foligno - Girgensons - Kaleta
McGinn - Larsson - Reinhart
Rodrigues - C. O'Reilly - Akeson
Carrier - Schaller - Ellis
Pysyk, Ruhwedel, McCabe, Ristolainen, Leduc, Donovan
Goal: Chad Johnson
Projected MIN lines
Zucker - Koivu - Niederreiter
Parise - Granlund - Pominville
Vanek - Graovac - Coyle
Carter - Dalpe - Bulmer
Suter - Spurgeon
Brodin - Dumba
Scandella - Folin
Goal: Devan Dubnyk