In less than two hours, the puck drops on the exhibition portion of the Wild's 2015-16 season.

The Wild plays host to the Buffalo Sabres tonight, then plays Tuesday night in Winnipeg. Below is the lineup.

But before I forget, and I will probably promote this incessantly the next few weeks, but I want to invite you down to Star Tribune headquarters Oct. 6 during your lunch hour. Come down to Capella Tower in downtown Minneapolis from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. for a Wild preseason panel with myself, Chip Scoggins, Michael Rand and a special guest or two. It'll be in the rotunda in the lobby level.

As mentioned, Tuesday in Winnipeg, Niklas Backstrom is scheduled to start his first game since January and play throughout with tonight's starter, Darcy Kuemper, backing up. Remember, it was actually Backstrom's preseason debut last year in Winnipeg that initially caused his elbow injury.

Forwards: Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle, Justin Fontaine, Ryan Carter, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Michael Keranen, Tyler Graovac, Christoph Bertschy, Marc Hagel, Brett Sutter, Brett Bulmer, Kurtis Gabriel.

Defensemen: Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba, Mike Reilly, Tyson Strachan, Gustav Olofsson, Maxime Fortunus, Zach Palmquist.

There will be one forward and one defenseman scratched.

Also today, the Wild cut down its training camp roster to 52, returning Gustav Bouramman to OHL Sault Ste. Marie, Reid Duke to WHL Brandon, Tanner Faith to WHL Kootenay, Chase Lang to WHL Calgary, Hunter Warner to WHL Prince Albert and Jack Walker to WHL Victoria (released from amateur tryout).

Talk after the game