Toronto Maple Leafs @ Buffalo Sabres
07:00 PM at KeyBank Center
Watch on: ESPN+, HULU, SN, CBC

The Leafs last game was at home on March 28 against the Washington Capitals, which Toronto won by a score of 5-1 in regulation. The Leafs have a record of 41-22-9 for a 0.632 Points %.

The Buffalo Sabres last played at home on March 29 against the New Jersey Devils. The Sabres won by a score of 5-2 in regulation, and their current league record is 35-34-5 for a 0.507 Points %.


Buffalo played a stinker of a game last Wednesday and lost big to Ottawa. Now, the truth is the Sabres were not in the playoff "race" already. They were too many points out of the wild card spots. The game was just a loss in a season where they'd already had 33 of them. But it was humiliating because it was at home. So they went out and thumped New Jersey – also not really able to make the playoffs, but still pretending. For once this drama played out before the Leafs came on stage.

But here the Leafs are about to step out onto the ice in Buffalo, and now it's not about fanciful ideas of making the playoffs with a Points % barely over .500. It's about beating Toronto in the last meeting between these two teams.

Why is Buffalo a .500 team that loses a lot? They are an average team that offsets average goaltending and slightly below average Corsi with absolutely dreadful quality of shots for and very high quality of shots allowed. It's like they've figured out the neutral zone but haven't got a clue about what to do anywhere else on the ice. I can see why a team like Ottawa, that is better, but with terrible goalies, could absolutely destroy them.

Devon Levi played last night, so I assume UPL is the goalie tonight.


Joe Yerdon via Daily Faceoff from last night's game:

JJ Peterka - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch
Zach Benson - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn
Jeff Skinner - Peyton Krebs - Jordan Greenway
Zemgus Girgensons - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson

Owen Power - Rasmus Dahlin
Bowen Byram - Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson - Connor Clifton

Devon Levi
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - presumed starter


This means that, obviously, that Marner will not play today, but because this is a retroactive assignment to LTIR, they can reactivate him after 24 days from March 7 which is tomorrow. He is due to be evaluated next week.

Because this is a road game, Rifai is likely just insurance against sudden illness or injury.


Last Game (03/28) via Daily Faceoff

Tyler Bertuzzi - Auston Matthews - Max Domi
Bobby McMann - John Tavares - William Nylander
Matthew Knies - Pontus Holmberg - Nicholas Robertson
Connor Dewar - David Kämpf - Ryan Reaves

Simon Benoit - Jake McCabe
T.J. Brodie - Ilya Lyubushkin
Mark Giordano - Conor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov - confirmed starter
Martin Jones or Joe Woll

The Game

The Leafs have a reputation they richly deserve of playing terrible games against the Sabres. The Sabres, who seem to care about beating Toronto a lot more than Toronto cares about them are always up for the game.

That said, the Leafs have a defence corps trying to make a case for playoff time, and with the injuries opening up spots on the roster, there's something to play for. Mark Giordano sure seemed to making a statement in the win over Washington.