Preview: Flames at Sabres
The Calgary Flames are reeling on the ice with one win in their last eight games and now are embroiled in a major controversy off the ice. Coach Bill Peters is facing accusations of directing racial slurs toward a player when he was coaching in the minors and will not be behind the bench when the Flames visit the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.
The allegations against Peters surfaced during Monday's 3-2 overtime loss at Pittsburgh when Akim Aliu, who played for Peters with Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate in 2009-10, tweeted that Peters called him the "N" word because the coach didn't like his choice in music. "Our review into the allegations from last evening continues. This is a very serious matter and we want to be thorough in our review," Calgary general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement Tuesday night. The Flames will wind up a four-game road trip against a Buffalo team that also is in a tailspin, dropping 10 of its last 12 (2-8-2) after wrapping up a three-game trek with a 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay on Monday. “It seems like we’re accepting the fact we’re losing games right now," Sabres captain Jack Eichel said. "It’s not OK."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Calgary), MSG-Buffalo
ABOUT THE FLAMES (11-12-4): Calgary already had plenty of issues to fix after it was limited to two goals or fewer in eight consecutive games, including three shutouts, and now must navigate the turbulence surrounding Peters. "We all know there is no place for any of that sort of stuff in society," captain Mark Giordano said. "But also, you have to respect that the allegations are just that right now and you have to go through the process." Sean Monahan, who scored his sixth goal Monday, has six in 12 games versus Buffalo.
ABOUT THE SABRES (11-10-3): Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the top overall pick in the 2018 draft, suffered a concussion when he was elbowed in the head by Tampa Bay's Erik Cernak, who received a two-game suspension by the NHL for the hit. “Right now, we’re just worried about Rasmus and getting him healthy and hoping it’s not a long-term injury," coach Ralph Krueger said of Dahlin, who has one goal and 16 points. Eichel has six goals and five assists during a six-game point streak and four tallies in five games versus Calgary.
1. Eichel is the first Buffalo player to reach 30 points in 24 games or fewer since Thomas Vanek (2012-13).
2. Flames F Johnny Gaudreau has five goals and 11 points in nine games against Buffalo.
3. The Sabres are 1-for-31 on the power play over the last 11 games.
PREDICTION: Flames 3, Sabres 2