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Preview: the Sabres and Flames meet again

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Buffalo looks for redemption in Calgary

NHL: Calgary Flames at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Game 29

Buffalo Sabres (13-10-5) vs. Calgary Flames (13-12-4)

Puck Drop: 9:00 PM EST | Scotiabank Saddledome | Calgary, Canada

TV: MSG

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Flames Blog: Matchsticks & Gasoline

Know Your Opponent

Calgary Flames

Record: (13-12-4) | 30 PTS

Last 10: 3-5-2

Division Ranking: 6th in Pacific Division

Conference Ranking: 11th in Western Conference

PP: 22nd (16.5%)

PK: 5th (85.4%)

What to Watch

1. New Coach in Town

Since the Sabres and Flames last meeting (just last week), Calgary’s former head coach Bill Peters has resigned amid repeated racist comments and alleged abuse towards players. Interim coach Geoff Ward has stepped in and Flames’ teammates have been responding well. As a former school teacher and assistant coach in the NHL for several years, it seems as though this is just what Calgary has needed as the 2019-2020 season kicks into high gear. But, what does this mean for Buffalo? Though they lost in a close overtime battle, the Sabres will have to work even harder to ‘put out’ the Flames, who have been transitioning seamlessly with the coaching change. Ward has been experimenting with different line combinations this week, but has made it clear that nothing is permanent and he is open to variety. In short - this may spark new chemistry between Flames players that opposing teams have not seen before.

Additionally, it is worth noting that Calgary has forced the last three out of four games into overtime/shootouts. Buffalo will need to play hard during the full 60 minutes in order to come out with their second win this week.

2. Looking for sustained momentum

Monday night was a big triumph at home for the Sabres - a much needed one - with a 7-1 victory over a struggling New Jersey team (who has since fired their head coach). Buffalo has not won two games in a row since the middle of October. Hopefully they can get back on the win wagon and keep it moving in the right direction.

3. Eichel’s Point Streak

During tonight’s game, captain Jack will look to extend his point streak to 11 games. He tallied one goal and two assists on Monday night and currently has the longest active streak in the entire league. He will look to surpass his previous 11-point streak from 2017 and set a new personal record these next few match-ups. Also, Eichel is an average +9 on the season thus far.

Game Prediction

Projected Lineups Based on Practices

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner - Johan Larsson - Conor Sheary

Casey Mittelstadt - Marcus Johansson - Jimmy Vesey

Zemgus Girgensons - Rasmus Asplund - Evan Rodrigues

Defense

Jake McCabe/Colin Miller - Zach Bogosian

Brandon Montour - Rasmus Ristolainen

Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju

Starting Goaltender: Linus Ullmark (expected)

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Mathew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane

Mikael Bscklund - Sean Monahan - Dillon Dube

Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Johnny Gaudreau

Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Michael Frolik

Defense

Mark Giordiano - Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin - Michael Stone

T.J. Brodie - Brandon Davidson

Starting Goaltender: David Rittich (expected)