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Preview: Sabres visit division rivals

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Buffalo looks to defeat Leafs to make it two wins in a row

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Game 62

Buffalo Sabres (29-24-8) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (37-20-4)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM | Scotiabank Arena | Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Know Your Opponent

Toronto Maple Leafs

Record: (37-20-4)

Last 10: (6-3-1)

Division Ranking: 3rd in the Atlantic Division

Conference Ranking: 4th in the Eastern Conference

PP: 10th (21.9%)

PK: 11th (81%)

What to Watch

1. There is a new Sabre in town

Yesterday’s trade with the Anaheim Ducks has been the talk of our hockey town. In exchange for prospect Brendan Guhle and a first round draft pick, Buffalo has received defenseman Brandon Montour. Montour was in the same draft class as Reinhart (2014) and has 63 NHL career points, 96 total penalty minutes, and is an average +11 in his five seasons since being drafted. As for tonight, it has been reported that he will be in Toronto for the game, but will likely not play. The organization is hoping to add depth to the blue line with this new addition. Whether it is tonight or not, the young defenseman will don the number 62.

2. Second match-up between Sabres and Leafs this season

The one and only time these teams have met this season was on December 4th in Buffalo. Still fresh off their big winning streak, the home team fought hard, but failed to come out on top in a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat game. It was Auston Matthews who scored the game-winning goal with less than three seconds remaining in overtime. Tonight, the Sabres are looking for their first defeat against Toronto this season as well as back to back wins coming off of Saturday’s big game against Washington. Toronto and Buffalo will face each other two more times in March.

3. Toronto having great season

It may go out without saying, but Auston Matthews is among the elite Toronto players to keep an eye on. He has, however, had a lot of help making this a stellar season for the Leafs. Besides Matthews, Mitchell Marner, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly have racked up the most points (Marner alone has an impressive 71 points and is a +20) on the team. And, let’s not forget that Mike Babcock is their head coach. Buffalo’s final match-ups with Toronto this season will be difficult to say the least.

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Jack Eichel - Jason Pominville

Conor Sheary - Evan Rodrigues - Sam Reinhart

Tage Thompson - Vladimir Sobotka - Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson - Johan Larsson - Zemgus Girgensons

Defense

Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin - Zach Bogosian

Nathan Beaulieu - Matt Hunwick

Starting Goaltender: Carter HuttonC: (expected)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitchell Marner

Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen

Patrick Marleau - William Nylander - Connor Brown

Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis

Defense

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Muzzin - Travis Dermott

Starting Goaltender: Frederik Anderson (expected)