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Five Things to Know as Sabres host the Calgary Flames

Chad Johnson's season turned around with a trip to Calgary. He'll face his old team once again.

Here are Five Things to Know as the Buffalo Sabres host the Flames at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in KeyBank Center.

1. O'Regan will watch

The Sabres recalled forward Danny O'Regan for the game, but he won't be making his debut. He did extra skating with defense scratches Justin Falk and Josh Gorges.

"He just got into our organization," coach Phil Housley said after the morning skate. "I could see him getting some games in the future here, but I think he's just a really good, solid prospect for us right now, and he's going to get an opportunity."

There's a chance O'Regan plays Thursday night in Ottawa. The Sabres acquired him from San Jose last week as part of the Evander Kane trade. The 24-year-old has two goals in three games with Rochester.

The lines are expected to be:

Zemgus Girgensons-Ryan O'Reilly-Sam Reinhart
Scott Wilson-Johan Larsson-Jason Pominville
Jordan Nolan-Jacob Josefson-Kyle Okposo
Seth Griffith-Benoit Pouliot-Nick Baptiste

Newcomer Dan O'Regan hopes comfort with Amerks leads to spot with Sabres

2. Fanning the Flames

Johnson, whose hometown is Calgary, will start in goal for the fourth time in five games. He stopped 32 of 33 shots for a 2-1 overtime win in Calgary on Jan. 22.

It started an impressive run. He is 6-2 in his last eight starts. Including a relief appearance for Robin Lehner, Johnson has a .933 save percentage and 2.05 goals-against average in nine outings.

Sabres Notebook: Experience keeps goalie Chad Johnson focused and calm

3. Pulse after death

The chances for the playoffs are long gone, but Buffalo is finally getting victories. The Sabres are on 3-1 and 4-2 runs to improve to 21-34-11 this season.

"It's just the simplicity of our game," Johnson said after the morning skate. "We're not trying to do too much. The five guys that are on the ice are really working together. There's some cohesiveness there. Pucks are getting in deep when they need to. There's a good F3. Our D-zone coverage is good. We're not giving up a lot.

"It's all the little things that every team tries to do to have success. I think we're all on the same page right now and it's happening for us. Things are going our way, and the challenge is to keep that and keep pushing."

Ristolainen-led defense finally shows its preseason promise

4. Without Jack

The Sabres are 6-5-1 without center Jack Eichel, including the win over Boston in which he suffered his high-ankle sprain. They're averaging 2.92 goals per game, well above their last-place average of 2.41.

"Right when he went down, we said it's not going to be one or two guys," right wing Sam Reinhart said. "It's going to be a combined effort, and that's what it's been.

"I think guys need to realize when he comes back, if we keep that mindset, we're going to be that much more dangerous because we know he's going to come back and he's going to produce. We've got to keep that mindset going, and it's going to take everyone on a nightly basis."

5. This and that

The home team has won 18 of the last 21 meetings between Buffalo and Calgary. The Sabres are on an 11-0-2 run at home. … O'Reilly has 10 assists and 14 points in his last 11 games against the Flames. … Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has a five-game point streak against Calgary, recording four goals and seven points. … Calgary forward Johnny Gaudreau, who will play his 300th game, is second in the NHL in road points with 11 goals, 31 assists and 42 points in 34 games. … The Flames' Sean Monahan has scored 17 of his 28 goals on the road.

Sabres Notebook: Larsson Marches on; Reinhart works tips; Criscuolo injured

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