Things didn’t go as hoped for the Toronto Maple Leafs last night, at least from an offensive standpoint. While the defence core looked solid and both Garret Sparks and Kasimir Kaskisuo were impressive, the blue and white dropped their second consecutive preseason game, this time to the Buffalo Sabres.
There’s not really a ton to say about what happened; Buffalo spent the bulk the game in control, and it’s surprising that they didn’t end up putting a lead on the scoreboard throughout regulation. But both goalies made up for it and gave their teammates a chance to try to switch the momentum. That never really, happened, unfortunately, but it made the end result of the game seem vaguely interesting until the very end.
The performance of those netminders also kept the battle of the Nylanders at even, for now, which is always nice:
Ultimately, the Leafs dropped the game in a shootout, with Matt Moulson scoring the only goal of the contest in the fifth round. But tonight, they’ve got a chance to redeem themselves, as they take their talents to the First Niagara Centre for a grudge match.
Dressing as forwards for the Leafs tonight are Connor Brown, Mitch Marner, Brooks Laich, Peter Holland, Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander, Frederik Gauthier, Colin Greening, Dmytro Timashov, Tyler Bozak, Marc-Andre Cliche, Rich Clue, Clune, and Brandon Prust; a much more “on the cusp” lineup than they’ve dressed so far this preseason.
On the other side of things, Matt Hunwick, Connor Carrick, Frank Corrado, Andrew Campbell, Jake Gardiner, Rinat Valiev, Andrew Nielsen, and Nikolas Broulliard will be playing on the point, while Antoine Bibeau and Jhonas Enroth suit up in goal. This makes Enroth the first of the World Cup players to hop into the lineup, potentially; though he only played in pre-tournament games.
The Sabres forward lines appear to be as follows:
Matt Moulson-Zemgus Girgensons-Tyler Ennis
Nicolas Deslauriers-Sam Reinhart-Nicolas Baptiste
Justin Bailey-Derek Grant-Brian Gionta
Evan Rodrigues-Jean Dupuy-Cole Schneider
On defence, the Sabres are expected to dress Dmitry Kulikov, Jake McCabe, Casey Nelson, Justin Falk, Brady Austin, and Mac Bennett. Robin Lehner and Jason Kasdorf will stand between the pipes.
Puck drop for this one is once again at 7:00 PM, and will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360.