Preview: Injury-riddled Buffalo is still first in the Eastern Conference with 93 points and on a 9-2-1 run despite a 3-2 loss Wednesday to red-hot Colorado. The Wild is 3-4 all-time vs. the Sabres but 2-1 in Buffalo.
Players to watch: Coach Jacques Lemaire wouldn't say who'd start in goal, but Manny Fernandez, who hasn't started since Jan. 30, is 3-0 all-time vs. the Sabres with a 2.00 goals-against average. LW Brian Rolston has 20 points in 40 games vs. the Sabres, while LW Pavol Demitra has 15 in 15 games. C Daniel Briere leads the Sabres with 79 points, while RW Jason Pominville has an eight-game point streak (11 points). Former Gophers LW Thomas Vanek leads Buffalo with 34 goals and a plus-36 rating. G Ryan Miller had a shutout in his only game against Minnesota. C Dainius Zubrus is pointless in three games since coming from Washington.
Numbers: The Wild is 4-5-2 in the second of back-to-back games. ... The Sabres lead the NHL with 253 goals and is tied for third with 23 home victories. ... Buffalo has six players with 20 or more goals.
Injuries: Wild LW Derek Boogaard (back) is questionable, and center Wes Walz (upper body) is day-to-day. Buffalo RW Maxim Afinogenov (wrist), C Tim Connolly (concussion), C Paul Gaustad (ankle), RW Ales Kotalik (knee) and D Jaroslav Spacek (hand) are out.
TV note: The game will not be televised locally but will be available on the NHL Center Ice package.