Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. Calgary Flames

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Things will look a little different this season for the Buffalo Sabres, as they’ll face the Calgary Flames twice – matching up with a team they haven’t played since 2011. The Sabres and Flames haven’t played each other twice in a single season since at least 2003 – if ever.

The Buffalo Sabres will face the Calgary Flames twice in the 2013-2014 NHL season, with the first meeting coming in Buffalo on Saturday, December 14 at 2 p.m. The teams will then meet in Calgary on March 18 at 9 p.m.

The last time these two teams met – since they didn’t see each other at all during the lockout-shortened year – was November 4, 2011, when the Sabres put up 44 shots and took a 2-1 win over Calgary on home ice. Jhonas Enroth had 29 saves, and Drew Stafford and Nathan Gerbe notched goals for the Sabres.

It’s difficult to gauge any big names on the Sabres against the Flames, since four of the five point-getters in the 2011 meeting are no longer with the team (Roy, Sekera, Gerbe, Gragnani), and the teams meet so infrequently that many of the players on each team are no longer there today.

Prior to the November 2011 meeting, the last time the teams met was December 27, 2010 in Calgary, but many of the players on both teams have long since departed. Alex Tanguay, who had been fairly impressive against Buffalo in the past, was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche along with former Sabres player Cory Sarich.

One interesting move that could throw a nice wrench into the mix is the signing of KHL goaltender Karri Ramo by the Flames. The Finnish netminder has spent the last four seasons with Avangard Omsk in the KHL. Last season, he had a 2.00 GAA and four shutouts in the regular season, going 26-9-5 with a .929 save percentage.

Through Sabres history, the team has faced the Calgary Flames 97 times, winning 48 of those games and scoring an average of 3.58 goals per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

  • CALGARY: Center Mike Cammalleri and Buffalo native Lee Stempniak led the Flames with 32 points each lastt season, while left winger Curtis Glencross led the team in assists (15). In 14 career games against the Sabres, Cammalleri has scored five goals and three assists. Stempniak has scored six points (2-4) in 16 career games against Buffalo.
  • BUFFALO: Thomas Vanek has three career points against the Flames, while Cody Hodgson had four points (2-2) in four career games against Calgary. Center Steve Ott has 11 points (1-11) and 81 penalty minutes versus the Flames in his NHL career.

Meetings This Season:

  • December 14 @ BUF
  • March 18 @ CGY

Topics: Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames

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