Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m.  |  Arena: KeyBank Center  |  TV: TSN4  |  Radio: SN 590


Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on what Tyler Bozak brings to the team as a veteran presence:

I just thought Bozie, last night in particular, really dug in. His line was ready to go from the start to the finish and a lot of us weren’t. He’s got real good hockey sense and he’s an important part of our hockey team and gives us depth, so he’s done a nice job for us.

Babcock on rewarding Andreas Johnsson and now Garret Sparks for their work in the AHL:

In the end, your job as a prospect is to keep pushing the people to make the decision. If they don’t catch on soon enough, they catch on eventually. If you do good things, you’re going to play in the NHL. The good thing about playing in the AHL is that you’re trying out for 31 teams every night. To keep that every team is not watching you, you’re sadly mistaken. There is no vacuum. You’re playing in front of everybody.

Babcock on the power play scoring on five consecutive opportunities after a bit of a lull with the man advantage:

We went away on the power play for a while. We got too deliberate and too slow and it didn’t work. We’re way quicker again and we’re moving the puck well with a good net presence and a good scheme. [Jim Hiller] does a good job. Sometimes, it’s like anything — the penalty killers are the hardest working people on the rink. They work hard. If you don’t work hard, you’re not going to have success.

Babcock on Tomas Plekanec’s play since arriving in Toronto:

I think he’s been real good. Last night, he was on for a couple of goals against and it didn’t go as well for those guys. We were chasing the game and I didn’t play those guys as much. Prior to that, I thought it was really going good. We need a bounce-back game from that line here tonight. But he’s an important player for us especially as we add depth here down the stretch.

Morgan Rielly on the team coping with injuries to Matthews, Zaitsev and now Andersen:

It happens to all teams. It’s just a matter of keeping with the game plan. We have great depth. We have guys that are going to take on bigger roles if needed. We feel comfortable with the group we have.

The way that guys have kind of answered the call a little bit… when I speak about that, I’m more referring to Mitchy [Marner]. I think there are guys that have taken on bigger roles and have done a great job with it.

Rielly on Curtis McElhinney getting the job done this season when called on:

He’s pretty consistent. He’s been outstanding for us all year in the games he’s started and the games he’s had to come into. He’s been great and it’s a testament to his character and the type of pro that he is. The guys can always rely on him. We have a lot of confidence in the way that he’s played. We feel comfortable.

That’s a tough job. [Last night] he came in and did a great job for us. He was obviously a big part of that win. He’s been doing that all year… We feel good when he’s back there.


Matchup Stats

 TORBUF
Record41-22-722-35-12
GF/g3.24 (6th)2.38 (31st)
GA/g2.86 (14th)3.22 (29th)
PP%22.2% (4th)
16.8% (27th)
PK%82.7% (7th)79.2% (21st)
Shots/g31.9 (16th)30.5 (24th)
Shots Against/g34.1 (28th)32.7 (23rd)
5v5 CF%49.5% (18th)47% (30th)
5v5 SV%.927 (8th).920 (21st)
5v5 SH%9.2% (2nd)6.3% (30th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Forwards
Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
(70-22-16-38) – (68-27-21-48) – (70-7-12-19) Total: 56
Hyman – Nylander – Marner
  (70-13-21-34) – (70-14-36-50) – (70-19-39-58) Total: 46
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Brown
  (69-29-15-44) – (69-10-26-36) – (70-12-11-23)  Total: 51
Martin – Plekanec – Kapanen
 (48-3-9-12) – (66-6-18-24) – (24-5-2-7)  Total: 14

Defencemen
Rielly – Hainsey
 (64-6-36-42) – (68-4-18-22) Total: 10
Gardiner – Polak
 (70-4-37-41) – (43-2-8-10) Total: 6
Dermott – Carrick
(27-1-9-10) – (41-3-6-9) Total: 4

Goaltenders
McElhinney (.929 sv%)
Sparks (.936 sv%*)

*AHL

Scratched: Moore, Leivo, Johnsson
Injured: Matthews, Zaitsev, Andersen


Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Forwards
Wilson – O’Reilly – Reinhart
  (36-6-6-12) – (68-19-31-53) – (69-17-21-38) Total: 42
Pouliot – Larsson – Pominville
(65-12-6-18) – (67-4-10-14) – (69-11-16-27) Total: 27
Girgensons – Rodrigues – Baptiste
  (63-7-5-12) – (35-6-10-16) – (20-2-1-3) Total: 15
Nolan – Josefson – Bailey
 (58-2-4-6) – (38-2-2-4) – (8-3-1-4) Total: 7

Defencemen
Scandella – Ristolainen
 (69-5-14-19) – (60-6-27-33) Total: 11
Guhle – Nelson
 (6-0-1-1) – (25-2-5-7) Total: 2
Beaulieu – Antipin
 (50-1-6-7) – (42-0-9-9) Total: 1

Goaltenders
Lehner (.911 sv%)
Johnson (.896 sv%)

Injured: Bogosian, McCabe, Eichel, Okposo