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Calgary Flames Game Day 4: Back in action in Buffalo (5pm MT)

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
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The Calgary Flames (1-1-1, 3 points) hit the midway point of their season-high five game road trip on Thursday night as they face the Buffalo Sabres (1-2-0, 2 points). The Flames have looked good for big stretches of all three games but have yet to put a great 60 minutes together, while the Sabres have a roster full of up-and-coming talent that might still need time to gel.
The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Mangiapane
Ruzicka – Kadri – Dube
Coleman – Backlund – Coronato
Greer – Sharangovich
– Duehr
Hanifin – Andersson
Zadorov – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
Daniel Vladar is expected to start, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. The projected extras are Jordan Oesterle and Dryden Hunt. Aside from Vladar’s first start of the season, there aren’t any lineup changes from Monday night against Washington.
It’s the first half of a back-to-back, and the first game of a string where they Flames will play three games in four nights (in three different cities) against Buffalo, Columbus and Detroit. The Flames have been generally quite good for big stretches, but they’ve found ways to get in their own way in each game. But if the Flames are going to fly home from their road trip on Sunday night with a good feeling, they’re going to need to find some complete 60-minute efforts over the next 96 hours.

The Sabres

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Skinner – Thompson – Tuch
Peterka – Cozens – Krebs
Greenway – Mittelstadt – Benson
Girgensons – Jost – Okposo
Dahlin – Samuelsson
Power – Jokiharji
Clifton – Johnson
Devon Levi is expected to start for the Sabres, backed up by Eric Comrie. Their projected extras are Ukka-Pekka Luukonen, Jacob Bryson and Victor Olofsson. Mattias Johansson left Tuesday’s game with an upper body injury and didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he participated in morning skate on Thursday and is expected to play.
The Sabres lost each of their first two games, but beat Tampa Bay on Tuesday night in overtime. Their most potent offensive weapon is Tage Thompson, who leads the team in shots (12) but hasn’t scored a goal or gotten a point yet. But considering how many chances he’s generating, he’s destined to score a bunch of goals very soon. The Flames will need to keep a keen eye on #72 every time he’s on the ice.
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Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington, Jakob Pelletier and Kevin Rooney.
The Sabres are without Jack Quinn and Matthew Savoie.

The numbers

FlamesSabres
1Wins1
3 (.500)Points (%)2 (.333)
45.3%xGF%44.1%
27.3%PP%0.0%
100%PK%90.9%

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these clubs this season. They’ll meet again in Calgary in late March.

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