In Nathan Lieuwen’s first career start in the National Hockey League, getting a win would have been a memorable way to make his mark with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately for Lieuwen, the Calgary Flames had other ideas on Tuesday night.
Lieuwen made 23 saves under immense pressure from the Calgary Flames offense. Lieuwen stood tall in net and looked comfortable throughout the game, but with only six goals in seven games, it is extremely hard to win games with no offensive help.
Goaltender Joni Ortio and the Flames would not let the Sabres score again after the 13:22 mark of the first period. The Flames would add on three goals to hand Buffalo a 3-1 loss and Buffalo’s seventh straight loss.
Drew Stafford gave Buffalo the 1-0 lead in the first period with his 14th goal of the year, and his fourth goal in five games. Stafford capitalized on a giveaway by Flames forward Ben Hanowski and caught Ortio off guard on the wrap around.
That was all the Flames would allow the Sabres’ offense to muster. Calgary only allowed eleven more shots following Stafford’s goal, and a season low 14 in total for the game.
Buffalo almost had a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Brian Flynn’s goal was waved off due to Marcus Foligno making contact with Ortio in the Flames’ crease.
Torrey Mitchell made his return for the Sabres tonight going for a minus-1 in 12:24 of total ice-time. Mitchell missed six games with a lower-body injury suffered against Tampa Bay on March 6.
For the Flames, former Sabre Paul Byron finished the night with a short-handed goal to put the Flames ahead 3-1. In the two games played against the Sabres, Byron had a goal and two assists for the Flames.
For the Sabres, they will travel to northern Alberta to face the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Opening face-off is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network and WGR 550 AM.