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Sabres at Leafs preview: Playoff push

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The Sabres head to Toronto with two big points on the line.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Game #55

Buffalo Sabres (22-22-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-11)

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | Air Canada Centre | Toronto, ON

TV: MSG, CBC | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Two Questions

1. How will this revamped top six look tonight?

Evander Kane and Justin Bailey have gotten promoted to the top-six, and the Sabres are just going in with six forwards and then a motley crew of everyone else. Putting Bailey with the 1’s and giving Eichel some real line-mates in stead of guys in cement skates will hopefully open things up for the Sabres offense.

2. Can this team finally step up and win an important divisional game?

All year, it seems like the Sabres have dropped the ball in pressure situations, including almost every game that could pull them closer o that elusive third spot in the Atlantic Division. If they beat the Leafs tonight, they’ll be just five points out with a puncher’s chance. If they can’t nine points out would be a far bigger hill to climb.

Projected Buffalo Lines

56 Justin Bailey - 90 Ryan O’Reilly - 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane - 15 Jack Eichel - 23 Sam Reinhart
82 Marcus Foligno - 71 Evan Rodrigues - 12 Brian Gionta
26 Matt Moulson - 27 Derek Grant - 63 Tyler Ennis

77 Dmitry Kulikov - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
29 Jake McCabe - 6 Cody Franson
Josh Gorges - 41 Justin Falk

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner