John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens addresses the media in June in Vancouver. The Buffalo Sabres player was on the ice for two recent games against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dylan Cozens continues preseason push for Buffalo Sabres roster spot

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens continues to impress during the NHL preseason with the Buffalo Sabres, playing in his second and third preseason games on Sept. 20 and 21 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Sabres visited the Maple Leafs on Sept. 20 for the first game of a home-and-home set with Toronto skating to a 3-0 win.

Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring in the first for Toronto with a powerplay goal assisted by Kenny Agostino and Auston Matthews.

In the second period, Matthews struck for an even strength tally to make it 2-0 with assists going to William Nylander and Johnsson.

The Leafs made it 3-0 with a goal from Matt Read assisted by Rasmus Sandin halfway through the third period.

Cozens finished the game with a -1 plus/minus rating, three shots on goal and 15 minutes and 12 seconds of time on the ice.

Despite the loss, Cozens’ individual performance was enough to earn another look when the two teams faced off again on Sept. 21 down the road in Buffalo.

In the rubber match, Cozens slotted in on a line between Jeff Skinner and Evan Rodrigues.

Toronto struck first when John Tavares scored with assists going to Kasperi Kapanen and Jake Muzzin.

The Sabres quickly evened things up just 46 seconds later when Sam Reinhart scored a goal assisted by Jack Eichel and Colin Miller.

Buffalo jumped out to its first lead in the second period when Victor Olofsson scored a powerplay marker. Assists on the goal went to Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin.

The Maple Leafs tied the game up 2-2 when Pierre Engvall scored with an assist from Kapanen.

In the third period, the games came thick and fast.

Jimmy Vesey scored for Buffalo, assisted by Reinhart, to put the Sabres up 3-2, but a shorthanded goal from Toronto’s Trevor Moore brought the Leafs back to even at 3-3.

The winning goal came from the stick of Olofsson assisted by Reinhart late in the period. Buffalo made it 5-3 with an empty net goal from C.J. Smith assisted by Rodrigues.

Cozens finished the game with an even plus/minus rating, one shot on goal and eight minutes and 37 seconds of time on the ice.

Buffalo is back in action of Sept. 25 against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Cozens is a healthy scratch. The Sabres wrap up the preseason on Sept. 28 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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