NHL Preseason: Leafs @ Sabres Preview

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs open up their home-and-home against the Buffalo Sabres tonight in the Queen City. The Leafs will be hoping to hand the Sabres their first loss of the preseason, as they’ve won all three of their games so far. Here are your lineups, via each team’s respective website:

LEAFS

Mason Raymond

Tyler Bozak

Phil Kessel

David Broll

Trevor Smith

Nikolai Kulemin

Carter Ashton

Joe Colborne

Troy Bodie

Josh Leivo

Jay McClement

Jamie Devane

Dion Phaneuf

Carl Gunnarsson

Paul Ranger

Jake Gardiner

Stuart Percy

Mark Fraser

James Reimer

Drew MacIntyre

SABRES 

Marcus Foligno

Tyler Ennis

Drew Stafford

Steve Ott

Mikhail Grigorenko

Ville Leino

Zemgus Girgensons

Kevin Porter

Brian Flynn

Matt Ellis

Cody McCormick

Patrick Kaleta

Christian Ehrhoff

Mark Pysyk

Mike Weber

Jamie McBain

Alexander Sulzer

Rasmus Ristolainen

Jhonas Enroth

Matt Hackett

  • I was impressed with Broll’s play in the first preseason game against the Flyers. It looks like he’ll be getting significant minutes in this one on a line with Bolland and Kulemin. Watch for that line to cause a lot of havoc in the Sabres’ zone.
  • Raymond and Bolland are in the lineup again after they both scored in the last game against the Ottawa Senators. Raymond used his speed to crash the net and received a nice pass from James van Riemsdyk which he was able to tip in. Bolland scored the game-winning goal when he planted himself in front of Senators goalie Robin Lehner and backhanded a rebound into the net. The fact that Raymond has been playing with some very good linemates so far in the preseason has to bode well for his chances of sticking around past training camp.
  • The Leafs’ third line will be one to watch as both Colborne and Ashton are fighting for spots on the Leafs. I would think they’re both basically shoo-ins to make the opening night squad, but nevertheless the Leafs’ brass will be watching them closely to see how they can handle bottom-six minutes. I missed most of the game against the Senators, but from what I heard Colborne wasn’t exactly impressive in that game playing alongside van Riemsdyk and David Clarkson. Head coach Randy Carlyle will no doubt be looking for more from him.
  • That defense is pretty close to what I imagine the opening night pairings will look like if Cody Franson remains unsigned. It’s interesting that the Leafs will be taking an extended look at Percy. The 20-year-old and former first-round pick probably won’t make the team out of training camp, but could play some games with the big club later on in the year.
  • I’m not sure how Carlyle plans to handle his goaltenders in this one, but I hope he lets Reimer play the entire game. I’d like see him and Jonathan Bernier each get a full preseason game to get a better look at them both. Bernier left the Senators game with a knee injury, but is expected to get the start tomorrow in Toronto.
  • Game time is 7 p.m. local and will be televised nationwide in Canada on the CBC and in the U.S. on NHL Network. The game can also be heard on the radio side on TSN 1050.

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, NHL Preseason, Toronto Maple Leafs

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