The Sabres try to turn things around against the Wild

Buffalo has won just two of six at home

Paul Hamilton
February 05, 2019 - 12:25 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The first game of the Sabres' seven-game homestand 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 forecheck 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 four-of-five 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 de-railed 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) Food and Sport as they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel, Conor Sheary and Jason Pominville.

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