(SportsNetwork.com) – The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to get back in the win
column Saturday when they visit the struggling Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara
Toronto had a three-game winning streak halted Friday by visiting Pittsburgh,
as Thomas Greiss turned aside 30 shots and Pascal Dupuis scored a pair of
goals to lead the Penguins to a 2-1 victory at Air Canada Centre. The Maple
Leafs also had won four straight on home ice before falling to Pittsburgh.
Cody Franson had the lone goal of the game for the Maple Leafs, while Jonathan
Bernier allowed both goals on 41 shots. Toronto went 0-for-6 on the power
“We weren’t able to score on the power play or execute as crisp as we had
been,” said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. “We were handling the puck way
too long tonight.”
James Reimer is expected to get the start Saturday and he is 7-2-2 with a 3.22
goals against average in 11 career games against Buffalo.
Franson has recorded a point in six straight games and the defenseman has 11
points (1 goals, 10 assists) in 15 lifetime games versus the Sabres.
The Sabres enter Saturday mired in their longest losing streak of an already
trying season. Buffalo has lost five in a row, including the last four in
regulation, to fall to 3-13-2 in 2014-15. The current skid is the longest for
the club since ending 2013-14 on an 0-6-1 slide.
Buffalo has allowed six goals in three straight games and has been outscored
by a combined margin of 23-8 during its recent skid.
The Sabres last played on Tuesday when they were handed a 6-3 setback in
Minnesota. Buffalo was tied at 2-2 with the Wild in the early part of the
first period, but Minnesota scored the next three goals to take control of the
Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons and Torrey Mitchell scored for the
Sabres, losers in eight of nine. Jhonas Enroth allowed five goals on 38 shots
“It was 2-2 but we weren’t mentally engaged from the start of the game,” said
Mitchell. “They took it to us.”
Josh Gorges missed Tuesday’s game and he isn’t expected to play tonight. The
veteran defenseman is second on Buffalo in average ice time this season,
logging 21 minutes, 36 seconds per game.
Michal Neuvirth will get the start in net tonight and is 5-4-1 with a 3.06 GAA
in 12 career games versus the Maple Leafs. Neuvirth took the loss when Buffalo
dropped a 4-0 decision in Toronto on Oct. 28.
Last month’s victory was Toronto’s third straight against the Sabres and their
fourth win in the past five meetings. Buffalo, however, has claimed three in a
row, six of seven and 13 of the past 15 encounters at First Niagara Center.