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Buffalo Sabres Host Maple Leafs for First Time Since Before Pandemic

Will the rivalry reignite?

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 14

Buffalo Sabres (6-5-2) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (9-5-1)

Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | KeyBank Center | Buffalo, NY

TV: MSG-B, SNO

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Know Your Opponent

Toronto Maple Leafs

Record: 9-5-1 | 19 PTS

Division Ranking: 2nd in Atlantic Division

PP: T8th (23.3%)

PK: 7th (86.7%)

What to Watch

1. The Rivalry Returns?

The last time these two teams met was in Buffalo, right before the pandemic (February 16, 2020, to be exact). Though Buffalo came out on top, both clubs look very different almost two years later. It will be interesting to see how many Canadian fans jumped through all the hoops at the border to crowd the seats at KeyBank Center and...if the rivalry returns.

2. Woll’s NHL Debut?

Perhaps working in Buffalo’s favor will be the possible debut of Toronto’s young goaltender, Joseph Woll. He has been called up from the Marlies following Petr Mrazek’s repeated groin injury. Woll, just 23 years old, was a 2016 draft pick by the Maple Leafs and could be just what Buffalo needs to keep the momentum going after their big win (and Dylan Cozens’ great game) against Edmonton last night.

And, to give Dustin Tokarski a night off, we may see Aaron Dell in front of the net for the Sabres tonight.

3. Rick’s Return

No, not the adorable new team dog. Rick Jeanneret will be back on the mic tonight for the first time since October 16. It will be a breath of fresh air to hear his voice, a treat that fans will surely take advantage of during his final season as the Sabres’ play-by-play. We love you, RJ!

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Rasmus Asplund

Drake Caggiula - Dylan Cozens - Vinnie Hinostroza

Zemgus Girgensons - Cody Eakin - Kyle Okposo

Anders Bjork - Arttu Ruotsalainen - John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Mark Pysyk

Jacob Bryson - Colin Miller

Robert Hagg - Will Butcher

Starting Goaltender: Aaron Dell (expected)

Maple Leafs

Forwards

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - Mitchell Marner

Pierre Engvall - David Kampf - Ondrej Kase

Nick Ritchie - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds

Defense

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie

Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl

Rasmus Sandin - Timoyhty Liljegren

Starting Goaltender: Joseph Woll (expected)