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Sabres Visit Leafs for First Time Since December 2019

It’s going to be a tough one north of the border.

NHL: NOV 13 Maple Leafs at Sabres Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game 55

Buffalo Sabres (16-30-8) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (35-14-4)

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM EST | ScotiaBank Arena | Toronto, ON

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Know Your Opponent

Toronto Maple Leafs

Record: 35-14-4

Last Game: 5-3 win over Washington

Division Ranking: 3rd, Atlantic Division

PP: 1st (29.2%)

PK: 6th (84.7%)

What to Watch

1. Very Different Trajectories

At this point in the season, the Sabres and Leafs are on very different trajectories. The Leafs are on a three-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s game, but they’ve actually been a bit hot and cold lately. A six-game winning streak that ended on February 7 was followed up by two losses, then two wins. The Leafs then lost three straight before opening their current streak.

With that said, the Leafs still look pretty good right now. They’re third in the division, which would put them in a playoff spot, and they’ve scored 18 goals in their last three games. Granted, that 10-7 game against Detroit was probably a one-off outlier, but still.

As Toronto looks to extend its winning streak, the Sabres are still hoping to snap a six-game losing skid. Tonight’s game also wraps up a lengthy road trip for Buffalo, who will now return home for five straight. (That includes the ‘home’ game at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, ON.)

2. Scoring & Depth

Auston Matthews is top-five in the NHL in scoring, with 68 points in 50 games this season. He leads the Leafs with 37 goals, but he’s not the only one to watch. Mitch Marner has only appeared in 44 games this season, but has 35 assists and 56 points overall. John Tavares has also hit the 50-point mark, while William Nylander is approaching that point. Matthews has points in seven of his last 10 games.

3. Injury Updates

Jack Quinn has returned to practice & was assigned to the AHL’s Rochester Americans. It sounds like he may be in action when the Amerks host the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday night, a good way to get him back in the swing of things before he hopefully returns to the NHL.

Colin Miller, who has been week-to-week with an upper-body injury, skated on Wednesday. That’s good news for the Sabres ahead of the upcoming trade deadline if they hope to move him.

Zemgus Girgensons & Henri Jokiharju remain week-to-week. Will Butcher, Vinnie Hinostroza & Quinn are considered day-to-day.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Casey Mittelstadt - Dylan Cozens - Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Asplund - Peyton Krebs - Victor Olofsson

Anders Bjork - Cody Eakin - John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin - Jacob Bryson

Mattias Samuelsson - Casey Fitzgerald

Robert Hagg - Mark Pysyk

Starting Goalie: Craig Anderson

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner

Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - William Nylander

Ilya Mikheyev - David Kampf - Pierre Engvall

Nick Robertson - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds

Defense

Morgan Rielly - Rasmus Sandin

T.J. Brodie - Justin Holl

Travis Dermott - Ilya Lyubushkin

Starting Goalie: Petr Mrazek