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Buffalo Sabres Ready for First Divisional Matchup of the Season

January 21st, 2013 at 9:47 AM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Sabres started the season on the right track and hope they can carry that momentum into tonight's matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Tonight's contest will mark Buffalo's first against a division opponent. The Sabres and Maple Leafs split their season series last season, but Buffalo hopes their improved powerplay could give them an advantage. Buffalo scored three powerplay goals against Philadelphia Sunday, with one of those coming from new addition Steve Ott. Cody Hodgson and Thomas Vanek also had strong games for Buffalo Sunday and will hope to continue that play in tonight's game.

While the Sabres have a new physical element this season, they also have added more young talent. Mikhail Grigorenko played in his NHL debut Sunday and Ott says he's already impressed with the rookie.

"I feel bigger with (Grigorenko) out there," Ott said. "That kid's a beast already. You know he set the table, I kinda feel a little bit bad he set the table, I kinda almost had a gimme there on the side of the net. I wish I would've put it in for the kid, but you know what, this kid's going to be real good. Obviously, I think it started tonight, people are going to start recognizing the stamina in a heartbeat and if I can stick with him for a while, obviously I'll ride his coattails."

Nathan Gerbe and Cody McCormick are both on the Injured Reserved list as they battle their respective injuries, while Ville Leino sat out the opener with a lower body injury. The team has yet to announce whether Leino will be available tonight.

The puck will drop at 7:00 pm tonight in Toronto. 

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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