Game Preview: Leafs close out home stand vs. Buffalo

Photo Credits: Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs (35-18-8) will finish a five-game home stand tonight vs. the Buffalo Sabres (29-29-4).

Toronto and Buffalo meet for the third time this season. This meeting is the first game between these teams since December 21st, when Buffalo beat Toronto 9-3.

The Maple Leafs haven’t played well against teams in their division, with a record of 6-8-2.

Auston Matthews will look to get back into the goal column after being goalless in his last two games. Matthews has 11 goals and five assists in his last 10 games.

David Kampf participated in the Maple Leafs’ optional skate this morning. Kampf missed practice yesterday due to illness.

Another encouraging sign for the Maple Leafs is that defenceman Mark Giordano was on the ice this morning in the optional skate. Giordano sustained a concussion in last week’s game vs. the Arizona Coyotes. There is no timetable yet for his return.

Casey Mittelstadt is a player to look out for. In 62 games, he leads the Sabres with 14 goals and 33 assists for 47 points. Mittelstadt will be a player to watch ahead of this Friday’s trade deadline.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is the expected starting goalie for the Buffalo Sabres. He is 19-16-2 with a 2.46 GAA and a .914 save percentage. He has four shutouts this season.

Ilya Samsonov gets the start in net for Toronto. His last start came Saturday in Toronto’s 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers. Samsonov has a good record against Buffalo: 3-1-0.

Tonight’s game is at 7:00 p.m. on Sportsnet Ontario.

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