at Buffalo Sabres, 6 p.m. Friday, KeyBank Center
TV; radio: BSN Extra; 100.3 FM
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Sarah McLellan's preview:
Opening bell: The Wild are finishing off a back-to-back, while the Sabres (6-6-1) have been idle since Tuesday when they fell in overtime to the Hurricanes 3-2. A rested Buffalo lineup could be a handful for the Wild, but the Sabres have been up and down.
Watch him: Wild G Filip Gustavsson is scheduled for his first start since he was pulled in the first period of last Saturday's 5-4 shootout win over the Rangers. Since a 41-save shutout to start the season, Gustavsson is 1-3-1 and has surrendered five goals or more in four of those decisions. He has never faced Buffalo in his NHL career.
Injuries: Wild RW Frederick Gaudreau (upper body), D Alex Goligoski (lower body) and D Jared Spurgeon (upper body); Sabres LW Zach Benson (lower body), LW Brandon Biro (undisclosed), G Eric Comrie (lower body), C Dylan Cozens (upper body), RW Jack Quinn (Achilles) and D Mattias Samuelsson (lower body).
Forecast: A bounce-back performance by Gustavsson would certainly help the players in front of him playing their second game in two nights. So would a strong first period. If the Wild can avoid tripping into an early hole, that could set up a make-or-break third period and that's when the team has had some of its best efforts lately.
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