Buffalo Sabres' Torrey Mitchell, right, and Mike Weber, left, look on as Calgary Flames' Joe Colborne celebrates his goal during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday March 18, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
GameNight: Flames Lead Sabres 3-1 in 3rd
The Sabres kick off their Western Canada road trip tonight against the Calgary Flames. Buffalo enters this one as losers of six in a row. Tonight, the Sabres turn to Nathan Lieuwen in net, his first career start. The Flames lead the Sabres 3-1 in the third period.
Drew Stafford recorded his fourth goal in six games at 13:22 of the opening period, forcing a turnover behind the net and converting a wraparound attempt. Stafford took the puck right off Ben Hanowski's stick, curled around the net and slipped a shot under Joni Ortio for the 1-0 lead. Brian Flynn appeared to make it 2-0 moments later, but the ref immediately signaled no goal. Flynn sent the puck into the wide-open net after Marcus Foligno made contact with Ortio, knocking him out of position.
Making his first-ever NHL start, Lieuwen continued to impress. The Buffalo goaltender came up with a handful of big stops over the first two periods, but finally surrendered a goal with 1:02 to play in the second period. Joe Colborne collected a rebound that went off the backboard and slid the puck past a sprawling Lieuwen, making it 1-1. Prior to Colborne's goal, Lieuwen had stopped 26 out of 26 shots to start his NHL career.
Calgary went up 2-1 about halfway through the final period on a Mike Cammalleri deflection. The Flames forward tipped a Chris Butler shot right off a faceoff to the left of Lieuwen.