Sabres at Maple Leafs preview: Road to the bottom
The Sabres face their doppelganger from last year as they travel to Toronto to face the Marlies.
Buffalo Sabres (26-31-9) at
Toronto Maple Leafs (21-33-10)
1. Can Chad Johnson give the Sabres the strong performance in net they need?
Johnson is starting his first game since February 26 after a strong stretch of play by starter Robin Lehner. The Sabres backup has a solid .917 save percentage this season, but as we've seen this season, even a good performance in net isn't often enough to win for the offensively-challenged Sabres. As long as he can outplay someone named Garret Sparks, tonight's Leafs goalie, the Sabres should be OK.
2. How will the kids play for Toronto?
Much has been made about the Leafs calling up young players like William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Zach Hyman, and Connor Carrick thanks to their depleted post-trade-deadline roster, and Toronto fans are hoping these kids, especially the highly touted Nylander, can show why they will be a significant part of the Toronto rebuild throughout the rest of this season. Sound familiar, Sabres fans?
3. Who will score tonight?
No, really, will anybody from either team score? The Sabres and Leafs are the third and second lowest scoring teams in the NHL, respectively, in goals per game. For the Sabres, Jack Eichel and Johan Larsson are both starting to heat up, while the Leafs will receive some reinforcements in the form of Milan Michalek, who will play his first game for the Leafs since recovering from injury. Let's hope we see some fireworks in whats is just the second meeting of the season between these two division rivals.
Projected BUF lines
Deslauriers - C. O'Reilly - Girgensons
Colaiacovo - Pysyk