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Sabres' plan for rematch with Toronto is control puck to avoid Leafs' rush

The Sabres had trouble with the puck Saturday in Toronto. Defenseman Andrej Sekera coughed it up early. Winger Corey Tropp turned it over late in the second period.

The Leafs scored both times. They also got the eventual winning goal on a rush chance, with their speed evident on all three tallies.

When the teams meet again tonight in First Niagara Center, Buffalo wants to make sure it has a better night with the puck.

"We’ve got to limit our turnovers," defenseman Brayden McNabb said today. "They’re a great rush team. If we can eliminate that with good plays with the puck, we can keep things at the blue lines. It will help a lot."

The Leafs, of course, want to return to the fast break that has been effective for them.

"We have to establish right from the opening faceoff that we’re going to manage the puck," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said today. "We don’t want to allow the opposition to gain the momentum by possibly getting the first power play, creating the first scoring chance, all those things, because you know they’re going to be hyped up and ready to go. As quiet as we can keep the opposition’s fans, then it only enhances your own chances of winning the hockey game."

McNabb, called up for Saturday's game because of injuries to Mike Weber, Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, will remain in the lineup. T.J. Brennan, who also played Saturday after being summoned from Rochester, will return to the sidelines with Weber's return.

"I’m really glad that I got the chance to be up here," McNabb said. "It means a lot. This is kind of the playoffs right now. It’s do or die basically. It’s the funnest time of the year."

Said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff on the performance of the first-year pro during Saturday's game: "He looked good. Toronto’s got some good speed. I thought he handled that OK. When you go through the game maybe one errant pass, but otherwise I thought he defended well. He should be even more comfortable tonight."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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