The Buffalo Sabres (5-20-1, 11 points) have been struggling to find offense to support Ryan Miller’s strong play. Tonight, Buffalo will look to solve their problems against the Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-2) at the First Niagara Center.
Buffalo has not won a game since Ted Nolan’s return as coach, which was November 15 against, who else, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since then, Buffalo has only scored six goals and have been outshot 177-123 in the five-game span. Not to mention, they had eight minor penalties called against them in the third period during this skid.
Ryan Miller is obviously frustrated with his team’s lack of discipline over the past five games. “Whether it’s a good penalty or bad penalty, you can’t do it,” Miller said after Wednesday night’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Matt Moulson was finally able to find the back of the net on Wednesday. He scored on a beautiful pass from Drew Stafford after Stafford had taken P.K. Subban off the puck in the Montreal corner. It was Moulson’s first goal since his debut with the Sabres on October 28, where he scored two goals against the Dallas Stars. But Moulson did not think the effort was entirely there Wednesday night.
“We had some good plays out there, but obviously I don’t think we played a strong-60 out there. You can’t win in this league unless you play a strong-60,” said Moulson.
Toronto is coming off of a 6-5 loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday where they lost a 5-3 lead. Toronto was outshot 17-0 in the third period, and let the Penguins walk all over them in the later stages of the game.
Cody McCormick could return to the lineup tonight or tomorrow for the Sabres. He is coming off of his lower-body injury, but Ted Nolan was impressed with how he looked on Wednesday morning.
For Toronto, David Bolland is still on long-term injured reserve with his ankle injury, and Joffrey Lupul is on injured reserve and could miss up to two weeks with a groin strain.
Buffalo’s newly acquired forward, Matt D’Agostini could make his debut in a Sabres uniform tonight. Buffalo claimed D’Agostini from the Penguins after they waived him on Tuesday. In eight games played with Pittsburgh this year, D’Agostini has only registered one assist.
Ryan Miller will be in net for the Sabres tonight. James Reimer will get the nod for the Maple Leafs.
Opening faceoff tonight is scheduled for 7:35pm, and can be seen on MSG and heard on WGR 550 AM.