Keys to Sabres-Flames

BY: DAVID KOLB

CALGARY FLAMES (8-11-1) @ BUFFALO SABRES (6-8-4)

REVERSING THE TIDE

The Buffalo Sabres edged the Pittsburgh Penguins in a huge 2-1 shootout win on Saturday. The Sabres are now shooting for back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 30, when they defeated the Winnipeg Jets one night after defeating the Florida Panthers.

THE OTHER O’REILLY

The Sabres have added more depth to their roster at the center position, as Cal O’Reilly was recalled from Rochester. Against the Penguins, he centered a line with Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson, while getting some power-play time as well. O’Reilly would eventually score the game-winning goal in the shootout, beating Marc-Andre Fleury to gain the win.

HAMILTON BACK ON TRACK

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton helped set up all three Flames goals and gained three assists in a 3-2 win over Detroit on Sunday. Hamilton, who was stuck in a 10-game pointless streak, busted out in a big way, putting him back on pace to have a shot at forty plus points for what would be his third straight season.

LARSSON A TOP-LINER

With his top two centers (Ryan O’Reilly and Jack Eichel) out again, Dan Bylsma changed his lines, moving Johan Larsson to top-line center between Evander Kane and Kyle Okposo against the Penguins. The trio look to gain more success offensively tonight against the Flames after skating very well together defensively against the tight Pens on Saturday.

MORE SCORING NEEDED

Buffalo is currently ranked 15th in the Eastern Conference and has scored only 33 goals this season for an average of 1.8 goals per game. Only nine of those tallies have come at home, where the Sabres have managed a mere goal in each of the last five games.