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Scrivens set to start for Leafs versus Sabres

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens (R) smiles as he skates off the ice with teammate James Reimer following the win over Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, January 19, 2013.


Game day notebook

- Looks all but certain Ben Scrivens gets the start against the Sabres. Head coach Randy Carlyle liked what he saw in Game 1 in Montreal and has simply asked him to simplify his game a little. Buffalo had a scouting report on the rookie goalie up in their dressing room, and one of the things you can look for them to capitalize on is Scrivens's tendency to over handle the puck.

- Ryan Miller gets the start in the opposite net. The Sabres played on Sunday in an impressive win over the Flyers and in my opinion could be the surprise team of the East this year. They added a lot of talent a year ago, and it has taken some time to integrate those bodies.

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- Carlyle has gone with eight d-men to start the year, which means it's a challenge to get everyone playing time. No. 9 is on the way too with Jake Gardiner proclaiming himself 100 per cent Monday after the morning skate. Expect Gardiner to draw into the lineup on Wednesday or Thursday, meaning one defenceman is headed to the Marlies.

- To decide who that will be, the Leafs are cycling in two new defencemen against the Sabres, with the Mark Fraser and Korbinian Holzer pairing that served as the Marlies second unit getting a look at the Leafs third pair. Mike Komisarek and Cody Franson will sit this one out.

- Hard to say what happens with the forwards, but David Steckel could draw into the lineup, which would be helpful given how poor Toronto looks on the draw so far. More likely, it appears things remain the same, and Colton Orr gets a date with John Scott in their handful of minutes. My only hope for Orr this season is he can avoid any further head injuries because he could be going down a scary path here.

- Look for Carlyle to lean on the Mikhail Grabovski line for the tough minutes at home and to again play the stink out of Jay McClement on the penalty kill. He's a coach who will be much more aggressive in line-matching than we've seen in Toronto the last while.

A projected Leafs lineup:

MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin

Lupul - Bozak - Kessel

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JVR - Kadri - Komarov

Orr - McClement - Brown

Gunnarsson - Phaneuf

Liles - Kostka

Fraser - Holzer


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Sabres lineup:

Vanek - Hodgson - Pominville

Foligno - Ennis - Stafford

Ott - Grigorenko - Hecht

Scott - Ellis - Kaleta

Regehr - Myers

Ehrhoff - Sulzer

Leipold - Sekera


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About the Author
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More


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