The Wild wraps up its four-game trip tonight in Buffalo. The Sabres blew a 3-0 third-period lead in Philly a few nights ago, so coach Bruce Boudreau is expecting a surly opponent in only the Sabres' second home game.
Some Minnesota ties in the Sabres' lineup: Kyle Okposo, former Wild winger Matt Moulson, who's off to a good start, and former Gopher Hudson Fasching, who's playing on Buffalo's fourth line with Derek Grant and Nicolas Deslauriers. Fasching had six hits in Philly the other night and drew a penalty that led to a power-play goal.
He hopes to play his first career NHL game in St. Paul on Tuesday. I talked to him this morning and will write a bit about him in the notebook in Friday's paper.
Also, former Shattuck-St. Mary's coach Tom Ward is a Sabres' assistant and will be an eye in the sky tonight.
Jared Spurgeon and Erik Haula won't play tonight, so same lineup. Depending on tomorrow's practice, coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday against Dallas is a possibility.
Devan Dubnyk vs. Anders Nilsson.
A couple power play changes. Nino Niederreiter looks like he'll start on one of the units.
Also, with defensemen Marco Scandella having 10 of his shots blocked the past two games and Jonas Brodin fanning on shots lately, one of those two will take a back seat tonight on the power play.
Jason Pominville will get back to his long-time role with the Wild at the point.
"He's a jack of all trades," Boudreau said of the former Sabres captain. "He kills penalties. Tonight he's going to play some point on the power play. I put him in on the third, fourth, or second line. He's a guy that has experience that takes whatever assignment he has very seriously and he does a good job with it."
On Pominville playing the point, "We just want to try something different. I think it's important to get a lefty-righty instead of two lefties. Because when you come back after the power play we only have two righties that haven't played the power play. You don't like to come back with two righties against what's usually the other team's top line. So if we can make it where -- at least until Spurgeon gets back -- that we have a right-lefty up there, then we can come back defensively with a lefty-righty."
Talk to ya later.