Sharpen yourself: December 16, 2021 | Sabers road trip continues in Minnesota
It’s a game night in Minnesota. The Buffalo Sabers are in the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Wild tonight.
The showdown takes place at 8 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550 with pre-match coverage on MSG starting at 7:30 a.m.
Here is what you need to know.
Video: PRACTICE REPORT
Alex tuch trained with the team as he recovers from shoulder surgery in the offseason, but until Wednesday he had done it non-contact. Tuch was a full participant in Wednesday’s training and could enter the roster by the end of the calendar year.
Extract from yesterday’s practice report:
Video: AFTER THE PRACTICE: Granato
âHe’s close,â Granato told The Buffalo News’s Lance Lysowski. “He’s going to go through a few days of contact and then we’ll have a better picture of the strength, of the response. It won’t be in the next five days butâ¦ it could be soon after.”
The addition of Tuch, 25, would bolster Buffalo’s offensive skills up front. Tuch had 33 points (18 + 15) in 55 games for Vegas last season. He recorded career highs in goals (20) and points (52) in 74 games during the last full NHL season in 2018-19.
Video: The Instigators Overtime Episode 2: Alex Tuch
Defender Robert hagg did not train with the Minnesota team and returned to Buffalo for further evaluation after missing the third period of Tuesday’s 4-2 win at Winnipeg with injury. He will miss the rest of the road trip.
“We’re going to take pictures on him and we’ll wait for the medics to tell us where they think it is, but he was in pain after the game,” Granato said.
Read the full practice report here and stay tuned for updates from today’s morning skateboarding.
From the play notes:
â¢ This is the first of two meetings between the Sabers and the Wild this season.
â¢ Last game: Minnesota defeated Buffalo 4-1 in Buffalo on November 19, 2019.
â¢ The Sabers are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games against the Wild: 6-4-0 away.
â¢ This is the 26th game of all time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has a series record 11-13-1.
â¢ The Sabers are 8-4-0 on the road against the Wild all-time.
â¢ Rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen won his first win of the season on Tuesday in Winnipeg, stopping 34 of 36 shots he faced.
â¢ Luukkonen’s effort follows his career-high 40 saves on Saturday against Washington.
â¢ He ranks second among qualifying NHL goaltenders in save percentage (0.939) and is tied for seventh in goals against average (1.99) this season. His numbers are also good for the NHL point guard among rookie goaltenders in both categories.
â¢ Luukkonen has posted a save percentage of .913 or better in his four starts this season.
â¢ Buffalo have held their opponents scoreless on the power play in seven of their last nine games since Nov. 26 against Montreal.
â¢ The team was 15 for 17 (88.2%) and is sixth in the NHL shorthanded during that streak.
â¢ Rasmus dahlin has eight points (3 + 5) in his last eight road games.
â¢ He also totaled three points (2 + 1) in three career games against Minnesota
â¢ Colin Miller has six assists in his last six games against the Wild.
â¢ Jeff skinner has five points (3 + 2) in his last five visits to Minnesota.
â¢ Will Boucher has scored one goal in his previous two career road games against the Wild.
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