The Buffalo Sabres are just one of four teams worse than the Flames in the overall league standings this season.
With just 16 points through 32 games, just seven wins and a -40(!) goal differential, the Sabres are dead least in the NHL, and their current search for a general manager after firing Darcy Regeir is partially what prompted the Flames to cut ties with Jay Feaster and AGM John Weisbrod on Thursday.
Matt Moulson leads Buffalo with 10 goals and 20 points in 30 games since being acquired from the Islanders in the trade that send Thomas Vanek to Long Island. Cody Hodgson is next on that list with eight goals and 18 points in 31 games, but will not play today for undisclosed reasons, which is a big loss the the Sabres.
Buffalo has just 54 goals so far this season, the lowest total of any club to be sure, but they've had their share of bad luck as well. They fired 41 shots at Craig Anderson and the Senators on Thursday night and only scored once, losing the game 2-1.
The Flames on the other hand, were incredibly fortunate to survive the third period in Thursday night's 2-1 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. They were outshot 16-8 in the third period, and some timely saves and shotblocking created the conditions that led to Chris Butler's goal with 3.6 seconds left in overtime.
Things are always bound to get interesting when one lucky team and one unlucky team meet in an afternoon game. The Flames do not have a good record in Buffalo; they're 13-27-5-3 all time and 1-5-1-3 in their past 10 games at First Niagara Center, but 5-3-2 in their past 10 versus the Sabres overall.
Projected Lines and Pairings: