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Preview and GDT: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs

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We meet on neutral ground to settle this Buffalo-Toronto thing once and for all! Or until tomorrow, at least.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs
Yeah, that’s not how this one is going to go.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo at Toronto: Preseason game two

Time: 7 pm Eastern Time

Location: Meridian Centre, St. Catharines, ON

Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4

Bad news first: Jack Eichel will not be playing. I know the match up you really wanted to see was Eichel-Matthews, and there is no other rivalry or connection between these teams at all. So, sorry for that. We’ll make the best of it.

Here are your rosters for these games, including numbers since no one knows who any of these guys are. Lines will likely be available closer to game time, so check the comments.

Leafs Roster

Forwards

11 Zach Hyman
15 Matt Martin
24 Peter Holland
29 William Nylander
32 Josh Leivo
33 Frederik Gauthier
36 Kerby Rychel
37 Tobias Lindberg
39 Brendan Leipsic
43 Nazem Kadri
49 Rich Clune
63 Colin Smith
71 Tony Cameranesi

Defenders

8 Connor Carrick
52 Martin Marincin
53 Rinat Valiev
54 Justin Holl
55 Viktor Loov
57 Travis Dermott
73 Nikolas Brouillard
77 Raman Hrabarenka

Goaltenders

40 Garret Sparks
50 Kasimir Kaskisuo

Sparks is expected to start, and some of those defenders are expected to try to find the pressbox in St. Catharines.

That is a lot of AHL names on that roster, many more than on the early projected roster for Friday’s game. Some of these guys will be cut soon, and this is their last chance to shine.

Friday’s game will be the first nearly a real roster game, but this one should still be interesting and fun.

Buffalo Roster

Courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres, who are never shy about providing concise and clear information.

Forwards

82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 21 Kyle Okposo

9 Evander Kane - 27 Derek Grant - 70 Alexander Nylander

26 Matt Moulson - 19 Cal O'Reilly - 52 Hudson Fasching

48 William Carrier - 43 Daniel Catenacci - 10 Cole Schneider

Defenders

4 Josh Gorges - 47 Zach Bogosian

81 Mac Bennett/45 Brendan Guhle - 6 Cody Franson

41 Justin Falk - 46 Erik Burgdoerfer

Goaltenders

31 Anders Nilsson (starter)

33 Jason Kasdorf

Power Play

1. O'Reilly, Kane, Okposo, Moulson, Bogosian

2. Nylander, Franson, Foligno, Larsson, Schneider


Oh! Sorry, there is that Nylander vs Nylander business, isn't there? Well, it sure looks like that name is on both rosters! Here’s best Nylander yesterday talking about the pair of them, and answering the question, “Have you ever played against each other?”

Game one was so much fun, with the dazzle of Marner covered up for a lot of pretty standard preseason game flaws. Mix up some juniors and some AHLers with a few NHL vets and that's what you get.

But there was another thing dazzling about that game in retrospect. The speed. So, so much speed! I watched some of an Ottawa-Buffalo game, and it was slow, dull and well, Chris Neil scored by accident because he was sort of waving his stick around.

The Leafs, by contrast looked like they were on fire, ready to go, and in "can't we start the season now" mode.

One of the fun things about this year is the chance to get to know Jim Hiller, the assistant coach. He had a lot to say yesterday after practice—Auston Matthews first practice with the Leafs.

Morgan Rielly also chatted to the media, and the Leafs posted a long clip of him saying very thoughtful things. Some fans are speculating that this is a hint about who the next captain would be, and I can see it after watching this:

Tonight's game is for the fans of both teams in St. Catharines, but we expect Leafs fans to be loudest, but because it is in a non-NHL rink, there will be no stats for the game.

That’s it for now, but in the meantime: Go Leafs Go!