It’s a game day and the Buffalo Sabres (10-24-3) face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs (18-16-5). The Sabres head into tonight’s contest with the fewest wins in the National Hockey League, trailing the New York Islanders by one, and the Edmonton Oilers by two.
Tonights game is the fourth of five matchups between the teams. It is the first time the teams have met since just about one month ago when the Sabres defeated the Leafs in overtime on November 29th in overtime. Despite their poor record, the Sabres are 2-1 against the Maple Leafs.
The Buffalo Sabres are looking for their second win in a row after defeating Phoenix in overtime on the now famous butt goal just before the Christmas break. Buffalo would love to put 2013 behind them with their first three game winning streak of the season, with just three games left in December, tonight is then a must win for that to happen.
Not looking good for the Sabres is the fact that the home team has won the last five games played between Buffalo and Toronto. Buffalo is 42-37-15 on the road against the Maple Leafs.
Matt Moulson should be looking to get the monkey off his back and get back on the scoring path. He has nine points (seven goals and two assists) in his last six games against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
While the calendar counts down to the end of the year, the Maple Leafs are turning their attention to the outdoor Winter Classic they have scheduled against the Detroit Red Wings. This will be the largest outdoor game played by the NHL in front of 100,000 plus fans – and obviously it will be on the minds of everyone in Toronto, players, staff and fans included. With the resurgence of energy in the Buffalo Sabres locker room – Toronto shouldn’t look too far past this game or it will be another loss in their continued struggles this season after a hot start.
Toronto has dropped seven of their last nine games. And have played extra time in their last three games. They have not won since beating Phoenix in overtime on December 19th.
Tonight is a Sea of Blue game for the Maple Leafs – so it will be nice for the Sabres to spoil the party.