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Sabres' Kulikov should return to lineup this week

Even when Dmitry Kulikov gets good news, it’s accompanied by something bad. It’s been that type of season for the Buffalo defenseman.

Kulikov participated in his first full practice in nearly a month Monday, but he couldn’t talk about it after getting a fat lip from a high-stick. Still, he’ll join the Sabres on their two-game road trip to Nashville and Dallas after getting back into skating mode.

“We’ll see how he responds from that, but it bodes well for seeing him sometime this week,” coach Dan Bylsma said in HarborCenter.

Kulikov hasn’t played since Dec. 27 because of a back ailment that has lingered since preseason.

The Sabres will look for their third straight victory Tuesday when they visit the Predators. They will visit Dallas on Thursday before resting for the NHL All-Star break.

“Over the past month, we’ve had opportunities to win some big games to catch teams and get back into the mix,” Bylsma said. “With these last two wins and the four points in 32 hours, we get within three, four, five points.

“With two more games before the break and the possibility of four more points, it’d be huge for us to go on the road here to Nashville and Dallas and get some points, get some wins and put ourselves even closer to that spot where we want to be.”

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