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Buffalo Heads to Undefeated Calgary in First Matchup of the Season

‘Sabres After Dark’ continues following big win over Edmonton

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NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Game 4

Buffalo Sabres (2-1-0) vs. Calgary Flames (3-0-0)

Puck Drop: 9:30 PM EST | Scotiabank Saddledome | Calgary, AB

TV: MSG-B

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Flames Blog: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Know Your Opponent

Calgary Flames

Record: 3-0-0

Last Game: 3-2 victory over Vegas Golden Knights

Division Ranking: 1st in Pacific Division

PP: T-5th (33.3%)

PK: T-8th (83.3%)

What to Watch

1. Early Success for Number 26

On Tuesday night, star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin made a bit of history as the second defenseman in 30 years to score a goal in his team’s first three games of the season (he is in good company with Victor Hedman as the other defenseman, respectively). So far in these three games, Dahlin has been a dominant presence on the ice with five blocked shots and a plus-five rating. As he made big strides during the second half of last season, it looks as though the 22-year-old Swede picked up right where he left off and will definitely be one to keep an eye on tonight versus Calgary.

2. The Flames Are Red Hot

Calgary is a team that should be on every hockey fan’s radar.

They have a solid roster with talent that runs deep. Following a sloppy first period, the Flames showed their resilience after they bounced back from a 2-0 deficit and won on Tuesday night against the Golden Knights to keep their winning streak alive.

During the second period alone, they drew six (!) consecutive penalties - most of which were from the fourth line. What does this mean for their opponent?

The Sabres should be aware of the depth that this team possesses as well as their ability to not only create chances after being down a few goals but also score on the powerplay.

3. Newly Acquired Key Players

Sabres fans may notice a familiar face on a new team as Jonathan Huberdeau was traded to Calgary from Florida in the off-season. Drafted by the Panthers, the Canadian winger spent nearly a decade with his former team before becoming part of the Flames - for which he has already made an impact with three assists in three games. Since his NHL debut, he has consistently performed with elite ability. During the 2021-2022 season, he earned a monumental, career-high total in points with 115 (30 goals and 85 assists, respectively), which was almost double his totals from the previous season.

Also new to the Flames organization are defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (who came from the Panthers as well) and Nazem Kadri, a seasoned center and recent Stanley Cup victor with the Avalanche. Kadri will be one to watch in front of the net as he loves to be a pest to his opposing goaltender.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Victor Olofsson

Jack Quinn/Vinnie Hinostroza - Casey Mittelstadt - Alex Tuch

Peyton Krebs - Dylan Cozens - JJ Peterka

Zemgus Girgensons - Rasmus Asplund - Kyle Okposo

Defense

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin*

Goaltenders: Eric Comrie, Craig Anderson (expected starter)

*Lyubushkin is considered day-to-day following a minor injury; Casey Fitzgerald may have his debut tonight if the former does not return.

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Jonathan Huberdeau - Elias Lindholm - Tyler Toffoli

Dillon Dube - Nazem Kadri - Andrew Mangiapane

Blake Coleman - Mikael Backlund - Trevor Lewis

Milan Lucic - Kevin Rooney - Brett Ritchie

Defense

Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson

MacKenzie Weegar - Christopher Tanev

Nikita Zadorov - Michael Stone

Goaltenders: Jacob Markstrom (expected starter), Dan Vladar