Sabres at Flames preview: Can Lieuwen's first NHL start help snap a six-game losing streak?

Jen Fuller

Buffalo's six-game losing streak is going strong - can a road trip out West and a new goaltender do anything to snap them out of their funk?

Game #69

Buffalo Sabres (19-41-8) at. Calgary Flames (27-34-7)

Puck Drop - 9:00pm EST - Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, AB
TV
- MSG, SNET-CGY, Bell TV | Radio - WGR 550-AM
SBNation Flames Blog
- Matchsticks and Gasoline

Three Questions

1. How will Lieuwen look in his first career NHL start?
Nathan Lieuwen played well in limited action during his NHL debut, stopping all ten shots he faced. But coming in for relief and starting an NHL game is a whole other beast. With Buffalo down and out two regular tenders, a strong game by Lieuwen could help strengthen his position in Buffalo for a few more weeks.

2. Will anyone besides Drew Stafford or Tyler Ennis score?
OK, this is just getting silly now. The Sabres have five goals in their past six games, and pretty much everyone who's not on the top line has shut down offensively. Calgary gives up 2.93 goals per game, 25th in the league, so tonight would be a good time to turn things around.

3. What will Rasmus Ristolainen look like on the top pair?
According to the team's projected lines and pairings, Rusty is slated to skate tonight with Christian Ehrhoff, making him the team's de facto #2 defenseman. Ristolainen received heavy power play minutes in his last game, and will likely do so again, but how will he handle the increased responsibility and competition of being on the top pair?

Projected BUF Lines

Conacher - Ennis - Stafford
Foligno - Flynn - Hodgson
Mitchell- Leino - D'Agostini
Deslauriers - Ellis - Scott

Ehrhoff – Ristolainen
Weber - McBain

Tallinder - Ruhwedel

Goal: Nathan Lieuwen

Scratches/Injuries: Konopka, Girgensons, Stewart, Sulzer, Myers

Projected CGY Lines

Lance Bouma - Mikael BacklundPaul Byron
Mike CammalleriSean Monahan - Joe Colborne
Curtis Glencross - Matt Stajan - Brian McGrattan
Ben Hanowski - T.J. Galiardi - Kevin Westgarth

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Ladislav SmidTyler Wotherspoon
Kris RussellChris Butler

Joni Ortio
Joey MacDonald

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