The Sabres and Maple Leafs are looking for a spark after slow starts. The rivalry usually provides one.
The intensity in First Niagara Center is sure to pick up when Toronto invades Buffalo for the 100th time during the regular season (7 p.m., MSG, WGR-AM 550). As we mention in the Notebook, the Sabres are 66-25-8 during the first 99 games.
Both teams are looking for their second victory. The Sabres are 1-4 while the Leafs are 1-3-1. Here are a few things to watch:
1. The line featuring Jack Eichel and Evander Kane has provided chances but only two goals, with Eichel scoring both. Coach Dan Bylsma has confidence the duo will start to find the net. They'll remain together, with Jamie McGinn in line to play on the right wing.
2. The Leafs are slow starters, getting outscored, 6-1, during first periods so far. The Sabres finally scored their first first-period goal Saturday in Tampa Bay. If they can mimic their early effort, the Sabres can silence the legions of Leafs fans in the crowd.
3. Buffalo's power play ranks ninth in the NHL at 23.8 percent (5 for 21). Toronto's penalty-kill unit ranks 24th at 75 percent (15 for 20). The Sabres will need to exploit the matchup.
4. Tyler Ennis has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in his last 16 games against the Maple Leafs. He has seven points, including five assists, in his last five games.