Puck Drop: 7:30 p.m.  |  Arena: KeyBank Center  |  TV: TSN4  |  Radio: TSN 1050

Game Day Quotes

Buffalo Sabres head coach Phil Housley on game planning for the Leafs:

The potential offensively is really good. They’re a good rush team. With any transitional plays, they’re going to try to stretch the zone on us. They like to play that fast game. We’ve got to be ready to make good puck decisions going through the neutral zone and do it like we did against Boston and Tampa. I thought we got out, moved the puck quickly, got in on the forecheck, and sustained a lot of offensive-zone time. We’ve got to try to make them defend as much as possible.

Housley on the intensity of the rivalry between the Leafs and Sabres, especially in games in Buffalo:

It’s always a great rivalry. Just knowing where our opponents are at – they’ve lost the last three and the coach came out and said they were going to practice [Sunday] – we’ve got to be well aware of that. We’ve got to be ready to go and we’ve got to rebound from our last game.

Mike Babcock on getting off to a better start than Saturday against Washington:

We’ve been here for a day. It’s an opportunity to play a team we play four times, and it’s going to be important. They’re going to play right. I can tell you that just from the prescout. And they’re going to play hard. We’ve got to be focused on starting right and starting fast.

Babcock on the Sabres beating Boston and Tampa Bay:

They’re playing right. They’re competing hard. Good special teams. It might not look like it in the standings, but they’ve got good special teams right now. Both their penalty kill and their power play seem to be doing a good job. They’re above the puck in the neutral zone and boxing out hard in the defensive zone. They’re doing good things.

Babcock on needing a response from the penalty kill after conceding a few on Saturday:

We’ve got to go to the meeting and do what was said in the meeting. I don’t know what happened there. We gave up two we shouldn’t have given up. We’ve got to get our foot on the gas and do it right. It’s so important that the details of the game are looked after. Not only do you have to do things hard and fast, you’ve got to do them with detail.

Babcock on his message to Tomas Plekanec as he gets settled in:

I’ve talked to him a number of times. In Detroit, we traded for guys like that a number of times. The biggest thing, when you come and you’ve been in one place a long, long time, is that you’re used to doing everything the same way. Suddenly, you find yourself on the ice and you’re thinking, and you wonder why nothing is going right for you. Well, you’re spending your time thinking. It’s all going to work out perfectly for him. He’s just got to be a little bit patient with himself. We are. There is no problem whatsoever. He will be a big part of our team. He’s just got to work through the process.

Babcock on Matt Martin getting back into the lineup:

Just go out and work hard and do what you do. I think it’s real important that each guys understand his own game and how to play and how to go about your business. When you get your opportunity, go out and do that.

Matt Martin on getting back into the lineup:

It’s exciting, for sure. It’s been a while since I’ve played a game. I’m excited to get back into the thick of things and keep it simple early and try to get the feel for the pace and everything again.

It is going to be interesting getting back into the swing of things early on with the pace and not trying to make plays and not turning pucks over. We’ll go from there. I’m excited more than I am nervous.

Martin on holding onto your confidence through a stretch of healthy scratches:

I think you can only control what you can control. Just come in and work hard and stay positive as much as possible. Some days are easier than others, but that’s the nature of the business. You just continue to push forward and wait for your next opportunity.

Martin on whether he was unsure whether he was going to get another chance:

When it first starts, you think it’s just going to be a couple. And then I think we hit a month not too long ago. It definitely dragged on for a while. Some days are harder than others, but you’ve got to continue to be positive and continue to work hard. If you don’t, when you do get in the lineup, you’re not ready for it and it’s not going to help you out too much. It was tough, but I’m excited to get back into it tonight.

Martin on staying prepared for the last month:

First of all, working hard after practice. That’s the hardest thing: In practice, you want to make sure the guys that are playing are getting most of the reps and the line rushes and things like that. You’ve got to make sure you’re doing extra work post-practice. Off the ice, we have a pretty good training staff that gave me a program to stay in top shape all this time. I guess we’ll find out tonight how well that paid off.

Matchup Stats

GF/g3.19 (7th)2.37 (31st)
GA/g2.81 (12th)3.23 (27th)
PP%20.1% (18th)
17.2% (25th)
PK%82.7% (8th)79.7% (20th)
Shots/g31.8 (17th)30.6 (23rd)
Shots Against/g34.1 (28th)32.4 (23rd)
5v5 CF%49.4% (18th)47.1% (29th)
5v5 SV%.928 (6th).920 (20th)
5v5 SH%9.3% (2nd)6.1% (31st)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Marleau – Kadri – Marner
(67-20-15-35) – (65-24-21-45) – (67-17-36-53) Total: 61
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Kapanen
  (66-26-15-41) – (66-10-23-33) – (24-4-2-6)  Total: 40
Hyman – Nylander – Brown
  (67-13-21-34) – (67-14-35-49) – (67-12-11-23) Total: 39
Martin – Plekanec – Komarov
 (47-3-8-11) – (63-6-18-24) – (67-5-11-16)  Total: 14

Rielly – Hainsey
 (61-6-31-37) – (64-4-17-21) Total: 10
Gardiner – Zaitsev
 (67-4-36-40) – (49-4-7-11) Total: 8
Dermott – Carrick
(24-1-8-9) – (38-3-4-7) Total: 4

Andersen (.920 sv%)
McElhinney (.931 sv%)

Scratched: Moore, Leivo, Polak
Injured: Matthews

Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Girgensons – O’Reilly – Reinhart
  (59-6-5-11) – (64-18-29-47) – (65-15-19-34) Total: 39
Wilson – Larsson – Pominville
(32-5-5-10) – (63-3-9-12) – (65-10-14-24) Total: 19
Pouliot – Criscuolo – Baptiste
  (61-12-4-16) – (8-0-0-0) – (16-2-1-3) Total: 14
Nolan – Josefson – Okposo
 (54-2-3-5) – (34-2-2-4) – (52-11-26-37) Total: 15

Scandella – Ristolainen
 (54-4-14-18) – (56-6-25-31) Total: 10
Guhle – Nelson
 (2-0-1-1) – (21-1-5-6) Total: 1
Beaulieu – Antipin
 (47-1-6-7) – (40-0-9-9) Total: 1

Johnson (.896 sv%)
Lehner (.909 sv%)