Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/24/12
SATURDAY'S STORY LINE: One game after getting captain Mikko Koivu back, the Wild will be shorthanded again Saturday night in Buffalo.Defenseman Jared Spurgeon is out indefinitely with a concussion after taking an elbow to the head from Calgary's Alex Tanguay on Thursday night. Plus, goalie Niklas Backstrom did not make the trip due to an injury. Coach Mike Yeo said it is not Backstrom's groin again and expects the goalie to practice with the team Monday after a few days of rest. Matt Hackett was called up Saturday morning from Houston and will join the team in Buffalo. Defenseman Marco Scandella, who was also injured in Thursday's game, will be able to play Saturday. The Wild have lost 327 man games to injury this season and have used 44 players. Yeo won't use that as an excuse, but there is no denying the effect of injuries on the team's performance. "(The team's run of injuries) wouldn't be much of a story if we dealt with it better or if we didn't let it affect us as much, but unfortunately it has been a big part of our season," Yeo said. Minnesota has a lot of offensive depth in its system, but prospects such as Mikael Granlund -- who had 51 (20 goals, 31 assists) points in 45 games with HIFK in the SM-LIIGA league in Finland this season aren't quite ready for the NHL. So the Wild never recovered from the loss of players such as Guillaume Latendresse, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Koivu. "I think a year or two from now we will be able to handle it much better than we did right now, but I think that we had depth in role positions more," Yeo said. "If we lost penalty killers, we could replace penalty killers. If we lost checking line centers, I think we could have guys come in and fulfill that. I think when you are looking at a team that probably didn't have a lot of offensive depth. So when we lost some offensive players we had a tough time recovering." HE SAID IT: "This is going to be a fast-paced game. This is going to be a team that is going to be very desperate. The fact that they played last night means absolutely nothing. They are going to have a lot of energy, a lot of emotion coming home and the chance to get into a playoff spot tonight with the idea of beating us. So we better be prepared." Yeo on playing the Sabres, who are fighting for the last playoff spot in the East
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