Preview and GDT: Sabres at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)

Preview and GDT: Sabres at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)

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The Sabres’ Ron Rolston era begins tonight in Toronto. Sitting in the Northeast Division basement by a seven-point margin, the Sabres ended the tenure of the then-longest tenured head coach in the league yesterday. The Leafs will have to match what should be a heightened energy level from the Sabres after their big wakeup call.

The Leafs have so far been good at stopping losing streaks before they start, and keeping that up will bode well as far as the playoff race goes. As far as recent history against the Sabres is concerned, the Leafs were Ryan Miller’ed and lost against the run of play in their home opener. Matt Frattin’s late heroics evened the season series up at 1s in Buffalo on January 29.

A few quick lineup notes:

John Scott won’t get his shot at revenge against the man who gut punched him to the ice a month ago, as Colton Orr is out tonight with a lower body injury.

The versatile Jay McClement will move up onto the third line with Kadri and MacArthur while David Steckel takes over at fourth line center.

John-Michael Liles remains a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

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