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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate #22: Toronto Maple Leafs

History was a little too much for the Toronto Maple Leafs (11-7-1) to handle last night –  coupled with the fact that the Buffalo Sabres (5-15-1)

were energized by a new coach and regime change that should usher in a different brand of hockey in Buffalo.

If the Buffalo Sabres can make it three games in a row and get a win in the Air Canada Centre tonight – it will be the first time the Buffalo Sabres swept a home and home series with the Maple Leafs since Halloween (Oct 30-31) back in 1998 – the year after Ted Nolan left the team the first time.  That was also the last time the Buffalo Sabres won an away game in the away portion of the home and home with the Maple Leafs.

This is the 190th all time game between these two teams – and the Buffalo Sabres hold a commanding lead against the Leafs 105-61-23.  On the road the Sabres are 42-36-15.

Buffalo still surrendered a high number of shots to the Maple Leafs – 33 in total giving Ryan Miller a fair workout.  The win last night pushed Ryan Miller to a 30-15-1 all time against the Leafs.  Miller has more wins and shutouts against the Leafs than any other team in the league.  Jhonas Enroth has only appeared in one contest against the Toronto based hockey club, getting a shootout win back in November of 2010.

I was downtown during the game last night – I saw plenty of rowdy Maple Leafs Fans ready for their team to do battle in Buffalo – only to return to their hotels dejected late in the evening.  The Buffalo Sabres are hoping to continue that trend, this time sending the Maple Leafs fans home feeling dejected.

Last night’s win shouldn’t have been too much a surprise for Buffalo.  Toronto is with out their top three centers, two to injury and one to a suspension.  Toronto made a move today to bring in Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz from the Anaheim Ducks to help solidify their front end.   Toronto sends Jesse Blacker and two 2014 draft picks to the Ducks in return.

Toronto has also found it very difficult to function in the month of November, so far only winning once and getting a loser point in five games.  Toronto has not been able to score more than one goal per game.  The last time they scored more than one goal was against the Calgary Flames on October 30th.

Buffalo has won two games in a row for the first time this season, and for the first time since April 2,5, and 7 of last season.  That was also the last time they won two games in a row at home.

It was an optional skate today at the Air Canada Centre, and only a few players took to the ice.



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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Populer Pregame Toronto Maple Leafs

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