Sabres at Flames preview: Back from the break, on to the road
The Sabres are back from the All-Star Break, but are facing both an 11 game losing streak and the beginning of a four game road trip as they head out to Calgary.
Buffalo Sabres (14-30-3) at
Calgary Flames (25-19-3)
1. How will the Sabres look coming off of their eight day rest?
The All-Star Break couldn't have come at a better time for Buffalo, who was mired in the midst of an 11 games losing streak. Almost all their players got a chance to rest, heal, and just get away from the losing for a few days. However, the team starts the second portion of the season with a four game roadie, and they are currently the NHL's worst team on the road. Will we see a rejuvenated and excited hockey team tonight, or will we have to suffer through some more slog before we reach the other side?
2. Can the return of Brian Gionta give the forward group a lift?
At this point in his career, Gionta is nowhere near the scorer he was a few years ago, but he's still a valuable piece of the Sabres group of forwards. His return allows Stafford to move down to the third line, which will hopefully spread out the scoring a bit and take some of the pressure off of the top line.
3. Which All-Star will play best tonight?
The Sabres sent Zemgus Girgensons to the All-Star game, while Calgary sent Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano. With a busy weekend behind them, whose All-Star player will shine brighter tonight?
Projected BUF lines
Moulson - Girgensons - Ennis
Flynn - Mitchell - Gionta
Stewart - Hodgson - Stafford
Deslauriers - Ellis - Kaleta
Gorges - Myers
Benoit - Ristolainen
Weber - Meszaros
Goal: Jhonas Enroth