Dylan Cozens, Sabres attempt to rake Maple Leafs

NHL

The Buffalo Sabres will try to build on a victory over the Edmonton Oilers that ended a five-game losing streak when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Both teams will be going for a sweep of games on back-to-back nights.

The Sabres had two goals late in the second period from Dylan Cozens, who had the first multi-goal game of his career, in defeating the visiting Oilers 3-2 on Friday. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski played a big role with 33 saves, 14 in the third period.

Auston Matthews scored in overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday. William Nylander had two assists for the Maple Leafs, who have won seven of their past eight.

Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said that goaltender Joseph Woll will make his NHL debut against the Sabres on Saturday. Aaron Dell is expected to start for Buffalo.

Woll was promoted from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League Nov. 6 to back up Jack Campbell as a replacement for Petr Mrazek (groin) who is on injured reserve.

“As an organization, we believe in (Woll’s) talent,” Keefe said. “In an ideal world, you want him to get rolling with the Marlies. … but as it turns out, there’s an opportunity here now. I told him three days ago that he would be getting the start, so he’s had time to practice and prepare.”

Campbell has played in 13 of the Maple Leafs’ 15 games.

Maple Leafs captain John Tavares, who has seven goals, returned to the lineup Friday after missing one game with a lower-body injury. He had no points in 21 minutes of ice time.

“Physically, I felt good,” Tavares said. “Just (have to) get my rhythm back after missing the game the other night.”

Before his game-winning goal, Matthews had been frustrated on a few chances — including an overtime breakaway — by Calgary goaltender Dan Vladar.

“We were just trying to stick with it,” Matthews said. “I know for myself, if I keep getting the opportunities, they’re going to go in, for sure.”

The Sabres made a point of not being too impressed by the Oilers, who have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid had an assist on Friday and Draisaitl had two goals.

“They’re a really good team,” Sabres center Drake Caggiula said. “We wanted to make sure that we could stand up against them and show that we’re a good team, as well.”

“If I knew a couple years ago that my first time going against McDavid that I’d be line-matched against him, it would have been a little overwhelming,” Cozens said.

“The way (Cozens) played tonight, he had an amazing game,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “My trust in him has always been there, definitely long term. … His ceiling, I can’t tell you where his ceiling is. It’s high.”

Cozens had scored one goal in his previous 32 games dating to last season. He met Granato this week to study video from recent games. Granato asked Cozens if he was prepared to be matched against McDavid’s line.

“I liked what I saw and felt he was ready for the challenge, whichever way it went,” Granato said.

The Sabres are 5-1-1 at home. The Maple Leafs are 2-3-0 on the road.

–Field Level Media

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