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Sabres at Flames preview

Calgary aims for sixth straight win; Buffalo in 3-8-1 skid

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

SABRES (23-17-6) at FLAMES (30-13-4)

9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN360, SN1, MSG-B, NHL.TV


The Game

The Calgary Flames will try for a season-high sixth straight win when they play the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

The Flames, who last had a six-game winning streak when they won seven in a row from Dec. 31, 2017-Jan. 14, 2018, are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games and have scored at least four goals in seven of their past eight. 

Forward James Neal will not play for the Western Conference-leading Flames because of an illness. Defenseman Travis Hamonic will miss his second straight game because of an illness in the family.

The Sabres have been outscored 16-8 in a three-game losing streak (0-3-0) and are 3-8-1 in their past 12 games.


Players to watch

Buffalo forward Jack Eichel, who leads the Sabres with 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists), is without a point in five straight games. 

Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau, who leads the Flames with 69 points (27 goals, 42 assists), has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in an eight-game point streak.


They said it

"You just try to do all the right things and try to get on the right side of things. The beauty of the NHL is you can get hot and really build some momentum that way. It's definitely something we have to try to do starting tonight." -- Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian


"Every game we have the same mentality going in. It's a game we want to win. It's a must-win. It's a tight race in our division with San Jose and Vegas. Tonight's going to be a tough game. Buffalo has been playing really well this year. It should be a good game tonight." -- Flames forward Mikael Backlund


Sabres projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Conor Sheary -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Tage Thompson

Vladimir Sobotka -- Evan Rodrigues -- Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Dahlin -- Zach Bogosian

Lawrence Pilut -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella -- Jake McCabe

Linus Ullmark

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Matt Hunwick, Remi Elie, Nathan Beaulieu

Injured: Casey Nelson (upper body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Austin Czarnik

Andrew Mangiapane -- Derek Ryan -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin -- Rasmus Andersson

Oliver Kylington -- Dalton Prout

David Rittich

Mike Smith

Scratched: Travis Hamonic (family illness)

Injured: James Neal (illness), Juuso Valimaki (lower body), Michael Stone (blood clot)


Status report

Buffalo held an optional morning skate. …Rittich will start for the fifth time in six games. 


Stat pack

Dahlin has five assists in a four-game point streak. …Monahan has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past eight games. …Lindholm has five points (one goal, four assists) in a four-game point streak and 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past eight games. …Giordano has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak. …Ryan is expected to play in his 200th NHL game.

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