The Calgary Flames (8-3-5, 21 points) will play the fifth game of their hefty seven game road trip tonight when they visit the Buffalo Sabres (7-6-2, 16 points). The Flames are in a playoff spot and have generally played well, but they have just a single win in their past five games. Can they get back in the win column and regain some of their swagger?
The puck drops just after 5 p.m. MT and you can catch the action on television via Sportsnet 360 or on radio via Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

The Flames

Projected lines via Daily Faceoff:
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Tkachuk
Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
Dube – Monahan – Pitlick
Lucic – Richardson – Lewis
Hanifin – Andersson
Kylington – Tanev
Zadorov – Gudbranson
Jacob Markström starts for Calgary, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extra Flames are Michael Stone, Jusso Välimäki and Walker Duehr. Some minor changes to the Flames lines are expected, with Mikael Backlund moving to the second line (and Sean Monahan to the third), and Trevor Lewis and Tyler Pitlick swapping right side deployments on the bottom six.
The Flames have played fairly well over the past few games, but they’ve lost four of their last five (two of those in overtime) and they’ve played just poorly enough to lose in those four games. They have yet to be run out of any building this season, but their impressive possession numbers have slightly been eroded down to merely pretty good. We’ll see if the Flames can regain some momentum in Buffalo.
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The Sabres

Yesterday’s lines via Daily Faceoff:
Skinner – Thompson – Asplund
Caggiula – Cozens – Hinostroza
Girgensons – Eakin – Okposo
Bjork – Ruotsalainen – Hayden
Dahlin – Pysyk
Bryson – Miller
Butcher – Hagg
Dustin Tokarski started (and won) Buffalo’s last game, so presumably he starts and is backed up by Aaron Dell. Buffalo’s extra player is Christian Wolanin.
Everybody expected the Sabres to be awful this season, but they’ve managed to be pretty good. They’re not blowing the doors off of anybody, but they’re sticking to a structured system and they’re getting some nice performances from their depth group. Their leading scorer, Rasmus Asplund, has 10 points, and another seven players are within two points of that output. The Sabres will need their depth against Calgary.

The numbers

Calgary
Buffalo
Wins
8
7
Points (%)
21 (.656)
16 (.533)
Adjusted Corsi For
56.1%
49.1%
Expected Goals For
53.3%
48.7%
Power Play
22.5%
19.1%
Penalty Kill
86.8%
81.4%

Unfit to play

The Flames are without Brett Ritchie.
The Sabres are without Alex Tuch, Casey Middlestadt, Henri Jokiharju, Victor Olofsson and Craig Anderson.
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When last we met

The Flames last played the Sabres twice over the span of about a week in November/December 2019, beating them twice.

Know thy enemy

Your recommended Twitter follows for tonight’s contest:
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