TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs will be trying to set a club record of 46 wins in a season on Monday night when they play the Buffalo Sabres.
It will be the first of two meetings at the Air Canada Centre between the teams after they split two in Buffalo this month.
The teams are going in different directions. The Maple Leafs sit third in the Eastern Conference and are gearing up for the playoffs. The Sabres set their sights on next season.
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The Maple Leafs (45-23-7) extended their home winning streak to 13 games Saturday night when they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 and tied the club record for wins in a season at 45.
They previously won 45 games in a season in 1998-99 Wholesale Kolton Miller Jersey , 1999-00 and 2003-04. They also have tied the franchise record for home wins in a season at 26.
“It’s nice and you want to win every night at home,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about that stuff. I just said we’re trying to get prepared.
“You don’t know how good your opportunity is, you never know when your time is coming. I’ve been in this league a long time, thought I had lots of good teams and I like our team. So let’s get prepared and let’s get better than we have, and you never know.”
The Sabres (23-40-12), meanwhile Wholesale Derwin James Jersey , are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Rangers in New York on Saturday and are lamenting their lack of scoring.
“We had a lot of great opportunities tonight,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said after the game Saturday. “But again, I’m going to harp on it; zone one. We’re not getting there enough.
“To score in this league, at this time of year at even strength, you have to be willing to go there, especially the first guy. We have to try to take the goalie’s ice. If we get to the interior position before their defenseman gets there Wholesale Cliff Avril Jersey , we can set up that net front presence. We’re getting there and then rolling out. We have to make it more miserable for the goalie.”
In the past four games, all losses, the Sabres have taken 144 shots and have scored twice.
“I wish I had the answer for it,” Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly said. “We just got to work harder and go from there. I wish I had the answer. We have these good starts, but we need to put one in because we need that spark and momentum. It’s just tough. We open the door and teams make us pay.”
Sabres right winger Sam Reinhart scored his 20th goal of the season on Saturday to end a drought of three games without a point. “It would have been nicer to have that one impact the game a little more,” he said.
When Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner allowed four goals on four shots from late in the first to midway through the second period Authentic Josh Sweat Jersey , he was replaced by backup Linus Ullmark.
“I can’t fault Robin on any of those goals,” Housley said. “Missed coverages. Missed picking up guys. I don’t think he had a chance, but four goals went in on four shots. It was just trying to save him a little bit and maybe send a message to our team.”
As well as the Maple Leafs have played, they have been unable to overtake the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning or the second-place Boston Bruins in the conference. Babcock said it is not a source of frustration.
“I don’t know why you’d be frustrated about anything,” Babcock said. “It seems like a waste of time to me. I don’t know. To me, that isn’t what it’s about. To me Carlton Davis Super Bowl LI Jersey , it’s about preparation for the tournament.
“You want to get in the tournament and you want to be prepared to be in the tournament and you want to do good things and you want to get your team better. Whether you play Detroit or — who do we have next? — Buffalo or Florida, really, it’s about your last opportunities to prepare and get better as a team. If you’re not prepared, you’re out of the tournament right away. You want to be set up and ready to go.”
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