NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 28th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (25-18-5) at Calgary Flames (28-14-4), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames resume a three-game homestand, as they
hit the ice for the first time tonight since the All-Star break to host the
Buffalo Sabres at Pengrowth Saddledome.
Calgary comes out of the break with a nine-point lead over Edmonton, Minnesota
and Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division. The Flames have hit
their stride as of late, as they won five of seven and 10 of their last 13
games prior to the All-Star Game. That run includes winning streaks of four
and five games.
Having won eight of their last nine at home, the Flames bring a 17-5-3 mark at
Pengrowth Saddledome into tonight's test and wrap their stand on Friday
Calgary has used its scoring touch to vault to the top of the standings, as it
is among the top leaders in team scoring at 3.15 goals per game. That has
helped compensate for Miikka Kiprusoff's up-and-down season. The Flames
netminder leads the NHL with 28 wins but is also sporting a 2.82 goals against
average. He hasn't posted a GAA that high to end a season since a 3.25 average
in 22 games with the San Jose Sharks in 2002-03.
Kiprusoff is 1-1-1 with a 1.95 GAA in his career against Buffalo.
Jarome Iginla leads the Flames with 34 assists and 53 points this year, and
the All-Star lit the lamp once in the West's 12-11 shootout loss to the East
on Sunday. His 19 goals on the season are behind only Mike Cammalleri's 22 for
most on the team.
Cammalleri, meanwhile, has scored five goals over his last three games and has
eight goals and two assists over a six-game point streak.
While Cammalleri is on a hot streak, the Sabres entire team caught fire last
night in their first game since the break. Ten different skaters notched at
least two points, as Buffalo pounded the Edmonton Oilers, 10-2.
Drew Stafford led the way with his second-career hat trick. His first,
coincidentally, came the last time the Sabres notched 10 goals in a game. That
came on January 18 of last year, a 10-1 win over Atlanta.
Tim Connolly had two goals and a helper and All-Star Thomas Vanek notched his
29th goal of the season -- third most in the NHL -- to go along with two
assists. Nathan Paetsch and Jochen Hecht both had a goal and an assist for the
Sabres, who have won four of five overall, and Ryan Miller made 36 saves.
The victory improved Buffalo to 2-1-0 on a six-game road trip that still
includes stops in Phoenix and Anaheim. The Sabres are 12-9-3 as the visiting
team this season.
The Sabres have won two of the last three meetings in the series, but has also
lost three of its last four in Calgary, where it hasn't won since October 18,
2003. Buffalo notched a 3-2 home shootout win on February 10, 2007 in the last
meeting between the two clubs.
01/28 10:23:41 ET