Buffalo Sabres (26-37-11) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (47-19-6)
Puck Drop: 7:00PM EDT | Scotiabank Arena | Toronto, ON
TV: MSG-B, Sportsnet (Canada)
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Toronto Maple Leafs Blog: Pension Plan Puppets
Know Your Opponent
Toronto Maple Leafs
Last Game: 3-2 win over the Canadiens
Division Ranking: 2nd in the Atlantic Division
PP: 1st (29.44%)
PK: 7th (83.50%)
What to Watch
1. How Does Power Play?
The Buffalo Sabres signed college prospect Owen Power almost as soon as Michigan was eliminated in the Frozen Four tournament. Power was the Sabres’ #1 pick in the 2021 NHL draft and the sophomore had 32 points with 29 assists this season at the University of Michigan.
Power is expected to take the ice against the Leafs in Toronto. All eyes will be on the rookie defenseman. Let’s hope he lives up to the hype and shows Sabres fans he’s everything they’ve hoped he’d be.
2. Can the Sabres Continue to Beat the Leafs?
The Leafs haven’t won against the Sabres since Nov. 13, 2021, much to the consternation of the Toronto press and their fans, who feel that the Maple Leafs owning the Buffalo Sabres is part of the natural order of the universe.
Whenever this doesn’t happen, Toronto sports pundits turn on their franchise with all the cruelty and vindictiveness that Russian figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze showed toward Kamila Valieva when she failed to finish first in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Expect a media meltdown in TO if the Sabres prevail.
The Sabres need to end a three-game losing streak and doing it against their longtime rival is a good place to start.
3. Stay Out of the Box
Toronto leads the NHL in goals with the man advantage. While it’s less than one third of PPs on average, it’s still the best in the league. The Sabres need to be careful about drawing sloppy penalties, because their opponent will try to capitalize on them if they do.
Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch
Zemgus Girgensons-Peyton Krebs-Kyle Okposo
Victor Olofsson-Casey Mittelstadt-Rasmus Asplund
Anders Bjork-Dylan Cozens-Vinnie Hinostroza
Mattias Samuelsson-Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power-Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson-Casey Fitzgerald
Starting Goalie: Craig Anderson
Toronto Maple Leafs
Michael Bunting-Kyle Clifford-Mitchell Marner
Ilya Mikheyev-John Tavares-Alexander Kerfoot
William Nylander-David Kampf-Pierre Engvall
Nicholas Abruzzese-Colin Blackwell-Jason Spezza
Morgan Reilly-Timothy Lijegren
TJ Brodie-Justin Holl
Mark Giordano-Ilya Lyubushkin
Starting Goalie: Erik Kallgren