Sabres at Flames recap: Buffalo loses seventh straight in Lieuwen's debut

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

A new goaltender couldn't spark the Sabres anemic offense, and Buffalo began their West Coast road trip with their seventh straight loss.

Another night, another loss. The players may be different, but the results are the same.

Nathan Lieuwen made his debut in net. Rasmus Ristolainen was on the top defensive pairing. Cody Hodgson moved to the wing, and Tory Mitchel made his return from injury - but none of it mattered, and on paper, this may have been the worst of the seven straight losses for the Buffalo Sabres.

The NHL's worst offense managed only 14 shots on net - that's for the entire game - and only managed an unassisted goal from Drew Stafford en route to a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames. They now have just six goals in their last seven games, all courtesy of either Stafford or Tyler Ennis.

The loss gives Buffalo its longest losing streak since 2003, which coincidentally was the last time the team was awful. The Sabres franchise has never lost eight games in a row, so look out Edmonton!

Many of the team's problems will sound familiar to longtime Sabres fans, as Ted Nolan noted after the game.

"It’s pretty tough when you have a shot in the slot and you pass it to the far side corner for a different shot. I don’t know. In order to score some goals, you can’t score if you don’t shoot. We’re in positions when we get the puck to shoot, and we pass it off for some reason. And I’m not too sure why."

The Sabres will attempt to avoid setting a franchise record for futility on Thursday versus the Oilers.

Three Questions

1. How will Lieuwen look in his first career NHL start?
For the first two periods, Lieuwen looked great, making a few athletic saves and shutting out the Flames until the final minute of the second. However, when it was all said and done, Liewuen gave up three goals on 26 shots in his NHL debut. There was a lot to like from the kid, who said it felt like "just another game".

2. Will anyone besides Drew Stafford or Tyler Ennis score?
Well, at least Stafford kept scoring. The Sabres now have six goals in their last seven games.

3. What will Rasmus Ristolainen look like on the top pair?
Ristolainen played pretty well in just over 21 minutes of ice time. Yes, he was a -2, but he also led all Sabres defensemen in Corsi numbers on the night, and when your team only puts 14 shots on net, you need all the help you can get in that department. His game last night was similar to a young Tyler Myers, and #55 found himself down low quite often, and had the team's best scoring chance in the first period after a nifty move to get open in the slot. Ristolainen also played minutes on both the PP and PK.

Three Stars

1. Mike Cammalleri - 1g
2. Paul Byron - 1g
3. Joe Colborne - also 1g

Comment of the Game

If we put our collective brainpower together, and used all the hours we've spent watching the Sabres this season for the good of mankind...

What do you think we could have accomplished? Developed a way to safely put a man (or woman) on Mars? Cured all Cancers?

Highlights

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