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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Sabres

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs host the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the Leafs’ three keys to a win.

Clean special teams sheet

It’s been bad. Very bad. The Maple Leafs have given up a power play goal in five straight games and in 10 of their last 11. The power play goal given up against the Islanders on Monday was the first of three unanswered tallies from New York, resulting in a 4-3 comeback victory. On the power play, the Leafs have registered just two goals on their last 33 opportunities. A perfect penalty kill and goals on the power play are a must.

Solid start

The Leafs wins have directly correlated with how they have started. A good start has translated to victories. Falling behind has been a disaster. The Leafs have not won this season where they trailed by two or more goals at any point of a game. If Toronto gets off to a sluggish start, the game could be decided rather quickly.

Don’t let up

The Leafs got rude lesson earlier in the year of what can happen if they take the Sabres for granted, losing 6-2 in Buffalo on November 15. The Leafs have to treat the Buffalo like any other NHL team. It doesn’t matter that they are as bad as they are in the standings or that they have lost four in a row.

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