clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sabres vs. Leafs preview: Nylander on Nylander

The Nylander brothers will meet for the first time tonight in Buffalo as Alex makes his NHL debut.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Game #79

Buffalo Sabres (32-34-12) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (38-24-15)

Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG, SN, TVAS, NHLN-US | Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation’s Maple Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Three Questions

1. How will Alex Nylander look in his NHL debut?

Ever since being drafted #8 overall in 2016 by the Sabres, fans have been waiting not only for Alex Nylander’s NHL debut, but for his first game against his brother, William. Well, hockey fans get a two-for-one deal tonight as Alex will play his first NHL against William’s Maple Leafs.

The full lineup for tonight was not revealed by Bylsma, but we do know that Nylander will playing right wing alongside Evan Rodrigues and Marcus Foligno on the third line. Kyle Okposo is still out sick (maybe take some Benadryl or something, dude) and there was no word of who would sit to make room for the rookie. Cody Franson is back as well, so check out our best guess at tonight’s lineup below.

2. Who’s power play will be #1 in the NHL after tonight?

The Sabres and Leafs are still #1 and #2 in the NHL, with Toronto trailing Buffalo in power play percentage by just 0.7%. The Sabres penalty kill has been actually not bad as of late (87.7% their last 22 games) and so I’m picking the blue and gold to retain.

3. Will the Sabres continue their home dominance of Toronto?

Buffalo is 18-2-1 in the last 21 home games against the Leafs.

Projected Buffalo Lines

Evander Kane -- 90 Ryan O'Reilly -- 63 Tyler Ennis
12 Brian Gionta -- 15 Jack Eichel -- 23 Sam Reinhart
82 Marcus Foligno -- 71 Evan Rodrigues --  70 Alexander Nylander
49 C.J. Smith -- 28 Zemgus Girgensons -- 26 Matt Moulson

29 Jake McCabe 55 Rasmus Ristolainen
77 Dmitry Kulikov -- 47 Zach Bogosian
Josh Gorges -- 6 Cody Franson

Goal: 40 Robin Lehner