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Players to watch: Sabres at Wild (Nov. 1)

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Posted at 3:33 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 15:33:35-04

Tuesday night the Buffalo Sabres will look to avenge themselves after a one-sided 4-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild last week in Buffalo. Since the loss, Buffalo is 2-0 and has outscored their opponents 6-1 -- but will that be enough to knock off one of the best teams in the league? Some players to watch during Sabres vs. Wild Part 2:

Justin Bailey

Bailey will get his first NHL action of the season tonight, replacing winger Hudson Fasching, who was hurt on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets. Bailey has four points (3G, 1A) in seven games with the Rochester Americans so far this season. Last year, Bailey finished the season in Buffalo, playing in eight games with the team. He didn't register any points -- but he did generate several quality scoring chances, looking particularly impressive in his debut against the Philadelphia Flyers. Bailey is a big, fast, player who is good at sending pucks to the net and generating chances. I don't expect him to get a lot of ice time against the Wild-- but it will be fun to watch how he looks when his number is called. Bailey is one of the Sabres top prospects and likely part of the long-term plan for this franchise -- Tuesday will be his first chance of this year to prove he can contribute at the NHL level. 

Devan Dubnyk

Dubnyk is the best goaltender in the world right now. Last week he was the league's second star after three consecutive shutouts. Dubnyk hasn't let in a goal since October 22 against the Devils and has stopped the last 94 shots he's faced. If the Sabres are going to have any chance Tuesday, they'll have to outshoot the Wild and apply consistent pressure from the start of the game. A couple bounces in the Sabres favor wouldn't hurt either.

The good news -- eventually Dubnyk's streak will end. The bad news -- it doesn't look like that will be anytime soon. 

Ryan Suter

Suter is leading the Wild with ten points (3G, 7A) in their first nine games in 2016. His last goal came against the Sabres on a shot from the point in the third period, beating Nilsson high-glove. The offensive numbers for Suter are surely impressive -- but what's even more striking is his 26:42 average ice time this season, while maintaining a +5 (+/-). Like Tuesday, expect a heavy-dose of Ryan Suter when the Sabres take on the Wild. Aside from Dubnyk, he's been their MVP nine games into the year. 

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