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Sabres vs. Wild: Projected Lines, Betting Odds, How to Watch & More 2/17/24



Buffalo Sabres Minnesota Wild game preview

The Buffalo Sabres [23-26-4] are in Minnesota to face the Wild [25-23-5] on Saturday evening. The Wild are red-hot, winning four straight games. The Sabres still cannot string wins together, and followed up their big win Tuesday with a loss on Thursday to the Florida Panthers.

Must Read: Sabres Lose to Panthers 4-0 in 45 Save Shutout

The good news for the Sabres is that goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen appears ready to go. Buffalo sent Dustin Tokarski back to Rochester and recalled defenseman Kale Clague from their AHL affiliate in a corresponding move. Based on how much Thursday’s starter Eric Comrie and head coach Don Granato downplayed the injury, Luukkonen will likely draw the start.

How to Watch

Gametime: 5:00 p.m. ET

Location: Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul, MN)

TV: MSG (Buffalo); BSN (Minnesota); BSWI (Wisconsin)

Stream: MSG+; ESPN+ (Out of market)

Radio: WGR550

The Sabres

Thursday night was a big letdown after it seemed the Sabres had broken the barn door open on their goal-scoring woes. Instead, they failed to score on 45 shots, which included a mix of fumbled chances and uninspired attempts.

The goose egg on the scoreboard led to some new lines for the team. In practice Friday, the Sabres reunited their top offensive trio from last season in Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson, and Alex Tuch according to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News.

Peyton Krebs is also finally getting a bit of a chance to show what he can do offensively, as he’s expected to center JJ Peterka and Zach Benson. Krebs’ untapped scoring potential has been a talking point this season, although he’s faired well in his fourth-line checking role.

The Wild

Minnesota has been searching for the right combination alongside star winger Kirill Kaprizov. Recently, they may have found it. Kaprizov has skated with Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy in the last few games, which has resulted in Boldy recording three straight multi-point games for the first time in his career.

Complementing the top line from the backend has been Brock Faber, who is garnering Calder Trophy interest. In captain Jared Spurgeon’s absence, Faber has vaulted to and has excelled in a powerplay role for the team. He’s now eighth in the entire NHL in time-on-ice per game.

As far as former Sabres go, we will not see fan favorite Marcus Foligno in this contest. Foligno is nursing a lower-body injury, and will likely be out for a couple more weeks. Old friends Marcus Johansson and Zach Bogosian are expected to play against their former club, however.

Injury Report


  • Owen Power (Hand) Week-to-Week
  • Jack Quinn (Lower Body) Out 5-7 Weeks [IR]
  • Mattias Samuelsson (Upper Body) Out For Season [IR]


  • Marcus Foligno (Lower Body) Out [IR]
  • Patrick Maroon (Back) Out [IR]
  • Jared Spurgeon (Hip) Out For Season [IR]

Projected Lines

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch

Jordan Greenway – Dylan Cozens – Casey Mittelstadt

Zach Benson – Peyton Krebs – JJ Peterka

Victor Olofsson – Zemgus Girgensons – Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin – Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson – Connor Clifton

Ryan Johnson – Erik Johnson

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Confirmed)

Lineup Source: Lance Lysowski, The Buffalo News

Goalie Source: Lance Lysowski, The Buffalo News


Minnesota Wild

Kirill Kaprizov – Joel Eriksson Ek – Matt Boldy

Marcus Johansson – Marco Rossi – Mats Zuccarello

Brandon Duhaime – Ryan Hartman – Frederick Gaudreau

Jacob Lucchini – Connor Dewar – Vinni Lettieri

Jacob Middleton – Brock Faber

Jonas Brodin – Zach Bogosian

Alex Goligoski – Declan Chisholm

Filip Gustavsson (Confirmed)


Lineup Source: Michael Russo, The Athletic

Goalie Source: Michael Russo, The Athletic

Betting Odds Breakdown

Buffalo Sabres Minnesota Wild win probability

This matchup between the Sabres and Wild is the NHL equivalent of an NFL 3-point home favorite. Take away the home-ice advantage, and this game is essentially a toss-up per the PuckLuck model. Since the model rates the two teams so close, there is an edge on betting Buffalo on the moneyline and puckline.

The implied moneyline gives the Sabres about a 45.5% chance of winning, compared to PuckLuck’s 47.5%. With an expected low-scoring game, Buffalo’s odds of keeping things close are also very strong. This makes the puckline, albeit at -195ish at +1.5 goals, the even stronger play.

Speaking of low scoring, the 5.56 projected goals are well short of the 6.5 the game total is set at. This makes the under a good play as well, which has been the trend for the majority of Sabres games in 2024.

For more betting analysis across the NHL, be sure to head over to

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