The Sabres try to turn things around against the Wild

February 05, 2019 - 12:25 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The first game of the Sabres seven-game home stand was a disaster losing to Chicago 7-3. Buffalo has just three wins in 10 games and have lost three of four.

Phil Housley made a total shakeup to the lines and Jack Eichel said, “Anytime during the season you’ve got to be ready to take anything on and obviously our team hasn’t been going the way we want right now, so I think change, you know, I don’t know if it was needed, but whenever things aren’t going well you look for changes and changes to spark the group, so I think this could be a good thing for us.”

Conor Sheary will be on Eichel’s left wing. Sheary played with Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh and Eichel here in Buffalo. He said, “I try to do a few little things different with them, but it’s not going to change my work ethic, it’s not going to change my forcheck or my speed, you just try to compliment a player like that because you know when they have the puck, a lot of good things can happen.”

Linus Ullmark will be in goal. He was stellar making 26 saves in a 1-0 loss in Dallas. Ullmark is 10-5-3 with a 2.89 goals against and .914 save percentage.

Buffalo is tied in points with Carolina, three points behind Columbus for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Jeff Skinner is in his worst stretch of the season with one goal in seven games.

The Sabres problems on the power play have dropped them to 21st in the NHL. At 2.84 goals per game, Buffalo is now 23rd in the league.

Overall the Sabres are 14-7-3 at home, but recently they’ve been bad going 2-3-1.

The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 meetings at home against Minnesota. They are 2-8-1 all-time at home against the Wild. If you flip those numbers, Minnesota is 9-2-0 in Buffalo.

The Wild hold down the first Wild Card position in the West and are four points in back of Dallas for third place in the Central Division.

Minnesota has lost two straight games, but had won 4-of-5 before that.

Alex Stalock played the Wild’s last game in goal, so Devan Dubnyk will be back for his sixth game in seven.

Dubnyk is 20-17-3 with a 2.55 goals against and .914 save percentage. Dubnyk struggled for a while, but recently he’s done well giving up just seven goals in five games. During that time he’s 3-1-0 with a 1.44 goals against and .942 save percentage.

Injuries have derailed Zach Parise for the past few seasons, but this year he leads Minnesota in scoring with 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points in 51 games. Parise has slumped recently with one goal in 12 games.

Victor Rask has played five games since being acquired from Carolina picking up a goal and an assist.

Matt Dumba was having a great season offensively before he got injured. In 32 games Dumba had 12 goals including one against the Sabres.

Buffalo won that game in Minnesota 3-2. That was part of the Sabres 10-game winning streak.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog at 6:00 for the pre-game live from 716 as they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel, Conor Sheary and Jason Pominville.

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