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Preview: Flames @ Sabres

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (26-33-4) at SABRES (25-31-8)

TV: MSG-B, SN360, NHL-TV (5:00 PM MT)

Season series: The Calgary Flames defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 10. Sean Monahan scored twice and set up Johnny Gaudreau for the game-winning goal with 4:34 remaining. Rasmus Ristolainen scored a hat trick for the Sabres.

Flames team scope: Calgary stayed overnight because of inclement weather after a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. The Flames had a scheduled day off, but did not arrive in Buffalo until 11:00 AM MT. Goalie Joni Ortio has started four of the past five games. The Flames have gone 1-8-1 in their past 10. "Nobody likes losing and that's what has been happening here lately," Gaudreau told the Flames website. "We have to change it. I think four or five games could have been the opposite way around. We are losing by one of two goals by every single game. If we get a couple of bounces here we might get a couple of wins." Gaudreau had an eight-game point streak end Tuesday.

Sabres team scope: Defenceman Jake McCabe will play despite a bruised left eye and facial cuts as the result from a third-period collision with Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov in a 2-1 overtime loss on Tuesday. McCabe left the game with three minutes remaining and did not return, but he did practice on Wednesday. Forwards Tyler Ennis (upper body), Ryan O'Reilly (lower body) and defenceman Cody Franson (neck) are out. Goalie Robin Lehner has stopped 100 of 105 shots in his past three starts, but the Sabres have scored once in the three losses. "We're in a bit of a funk right now offensively," forward Evander Kane told the Buffalo News. "We need to get over it quickly. Obviously our goaltending, if that continues, we're going to be in good shape if we start putting some goals in the back of the net."

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