Nathan Lieuwen made 23 saves in his first NHL start, but the Sabres managed only 14 shots on net in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Calgary. Former Sabre Paul Byron picked up a shorthanded goal and Chris Butler recorded two assists.
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 Butler shot right off a faceoff to the left of Lieuwen. Byron sealed the win later in the period with a shorthanded goal, forcing a turnover and outracing Cody Hodgson to the Buffalo net where he beat Lieuwen five-hole for the 3-1 lead.
The Sabres, mustering only 14 shots on net, once again received their entire offense from Stafford. The combination of Stafford and Tyler Ennis have scored all of six of Buffalo's goals in the team's last seven games. The Sabres travel to Edmonton on Thursday for a 9:30 p.m. start. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network.
13:22 - BUF - Drew Stafford (14) (Unassisted)
16:21 - CGY - T.J. Galiardi (2 min., holding)
18:58 - CGY - Joe Colborne (8) (Sean Monahan, T.J. Brodie)
7:03 - BUF - Drew Stafford (2 min., tripping)
9:16 - CGY - Mike Cammalleri (20) (Chris Butler, Mikael Backlund)
13:27 - CGY - Paul Byron (5) (SHG) (Chris Butler)
11:38 - CGY - Matt Stajan (2 min., tripping)
BUF - Nathan Lieuwen (23 saves, 26 shots)
CGY - Joni Ortio (13 saves, 14 shots)
BUF - 0 of 2
CGY - 0 of 1
1.) CGY - Mike Cammalleri (1 G, 0 A)
2.) CGY - Paul Byron (1 G, 0 A)
3.) CGY - Joe Colborne (1 G, 0 A)