Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time
Location: Air Canada Centre
Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, NHL.tv
Opponent SBNation Site: Die By The Blade
The Leafs face their rivals down the QEW in the thick of a playoff race, and every point is crucial in the crowded race for the last two spots in the Atlantic division. Coming off a useful point gained in a OT loss against the Blues, the Leafs need a win tonight, especially against a Sabres team that is second from the bottom in the conference.
The Sabres are only six points out of the second wild card, but have to climb past seven teams to get there. Their playoff chances look slim, but they’re more than talented enough to slap some pee-pees and play the spoiler.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
Matt Martin - Ben Smith - Nikita Soshnikov
Morgan Rielly - Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak
Tyler Ennis - Ryan O’Reilly - Kyle Oksposo
Marcus Foligno - Jack Eichel - Evander Kane
Justin Bailey - Sam Reinhart - Brian Gionta
Matt Moulson - Derek Grant - Nicolas Deslauriers
Dmitry Kulikov - Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe - Taylor Fedun
Josh Gorges - Justin Falk
Buffalo is missing Cody Franson and Zemgus Girgensons, with the former injury weakening an already terrible defensive group. Look for the Leafs to try and take advantage of the Sabres bottom two pairings, while Buffalo will try and ride Ristolainen like a horse. That said, the Sabres offensive talent is no joke, and they run a top nine with game changers on every line. The Leafs will need to be sharp to make sure they’re not hurt by that forward group.