Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview Number 49: Buffalo Sabres

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Notes:

  • Miller has quietly had a very good season on a bad Sabres team. He owns a .928 save percentage (good for third in the league among goaltenders with at least 20 games played) in 31 games and should be the favourite to start for Team USA in Sochi.
  • The Leafs won 4-3 in a shootout the last time these teams played on December 27. Ott scored with 25 seconds left to force extra time, and Lupul scored the only goal in the breakaway contest. The Leafs actually outshot the Sabres 42-35 in that game, which is a rarity for this team.
  • Since then, the Leafs have won two games in regulation, two in shootouts, and lost four straight in the middle. The Sabres have won one in regulation, two in shootouts, lost one in a shootout and three in regulation. It’s been a bumpy road for both teams.
  • Neither team skated this morning. The Leafs have a lot of guys still feeling the effects of a flu bug, including Clarkson, Orr and Reimer. Orr didn’t play last night, while Clarkson did. Reimer would be in line to start since Bernier played last night, but he might not be well enough to go.
  • Kessel saw a bunch of shifts on Kadri’s line last night, presumably so he could get away from the matchup with Zdeno Chara. Lupul then played most of the game on the top line with Bozak and van Riemsdyk. I’m not sure if Carlyle will continue this strategy tonight.
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