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Sabres Notebook: A Buffalo-Calgary game is a Carolina reunion

It was a Carolina Hurricanes reunion Tuesday night in KeyBank Center.

The Canes retooled their team with a pair of major moves over the summer and those players went head to head when the Sabres met the Calgary Flames.

In fact, Buffalo's Jeff Skinner and Calgary's Elias Lindholm entered the game leading their respective teams in goals after the summer deals out of Carolina. Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin came to Calgary as part of a five-player deal that saw blueliner Dougie Hamiton sent to the Canes.

Skinner said he was looking forward to meeting Hanifin, who was Carolina's No. 1 pick and the fifth player taken overall in 2015. Hanifin, from Boston College, was taken three spots after close friend Jack Eichel.

"I don't really have that many moves for him to remember," Skinner joked. "He's a good defenseman, plays physical and is obviously someone you're going to be aware of as a guy who will jump into the rush."

Skinner said it was impressive to watch the development of Hanifin the last three years and said it was like what the Sabres are seeing now in Rasmus Dahlin.

"They're different players and it's tough to compare but these young 'D' men that come into the league now, these guys are impressive," Skinner said. "They play big minutes. They play a skill game and make plays. They're only going to get better and that's the exciting part."

Lindholm scored the game-winning goal for Calgary in Monday's 3-1 victory in Toronto. He entered the game with eight goals and was the first Flame with eight in the first 12 games since Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow each did it in 2007.

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Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe missed his first game of the season with an upper-body injury suffered Saturday in Columbus and Nathan Beaulieu returned to the lineup in his place, taking the ice for the first time in five games.

The Sabres' healthy scratches were Evan Rodrigues and Remi Elie. Rodrigues, who missed Saturday's game to return home for the birth of his son, stayed out of the lineup so the Sabres could get another look at Tage Thompson, who got his first Buffalo point with an assist on the opening goal Saturday.

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The Sabres faced their fourth straight backup goaltender as Calgary's David Rittich got the call in the wake of starter Mike Smith getting the win Monday.

The Sabres were 2-0-1 in the first three games against the backups: Ryan Miller (Anaheim), Antti Niemi (Montreal) and Joonas Korpisalo (Columbus). Korpisalo and Rittich both had better numbers than their team's starter.

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Calgary hit town needing to find a cartographer to put together a better schedule for its upcoming seasons.

The Flames played road games Oct. 21 and 23 in New York and Montreal and then returned home to suffer a 9-1 blitzing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the worst loss in their history. They lost at home in overtime Saturday to Washington and headed right back East.

The back and forth continued: Monday in Toronto, Tuesday in Buffalo and home again to meet Colorado on Thursday and Chicago on Saturday.

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