Sabres' goalie Johnson gets the call against his former team

March 7, 2018

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Chad Johnson turned his season around starting on Jan. 22 in Calgary. Johnson stopped 32 shots as the Sabres won 2-1 in overtime. The win was only his second of the season, but since then he’s 6-2-0. Along the way, he’s beaten Anaheim, Toronto, Boston twice and Tampa Bay twice. In the stretch since beating his old team, Johnson has a 2.05 goals against and .933 save percentage.

The worst two teams in the NHL have been much better lately, mostly because there’s no pressure. Buffalo has 53 points while Arizona has 51.

The Sabres have won four out of six games and are 10-8-2 in their last 20.

Buffalo is 11-0-2 in its last 13 home games against the Flames.

Since Jack Eichel’s been hurt, the Sabres have scored 35 goals in 12 games.

Sam Reinhart has nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in his last 22 games. Rasmus Ristolainen has 24 points in his last 29 games.

Danny O’Regan was called up from Rochester because the Sabres only had 12 forwards, but will not play. Josh Gorges and Justin Falk are scratched from the blue line.

Calgary is just out of the playoffs in the Western Conference thanks to a four-game losing streak and two wins in nine games. The Flames are in fifth in the Pacific Division, three in back of Los Angeles and five behind third place San Jose.

The Kings and Colorado are tied for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

Flames goalie Mike Smith is back skating, but he’s been out since Feb. 13 with a lower-body injury. That’s left the crease to rookies David Riitich and Jon Gillies. Gillies has played four out of five games, going 2-2-1 with a 2.79 goals against and .904 save percentage.

Johnny Gaudreau is ninth in league scoring with 20 goals and 54 assists for 74 points. He is only three assists off the league lead.

The Flames took Matthew Tkachuk sixth overall in the 2016 NHL Draft and he has 24 goals this season. Sean Monahan was also a sixth overall selection and he has 29 goals.

The bust has been Sam Bennett, who was the fourth overall pick in the Sam Reinhart draft. He has just nine goals in 67 games this season.

Watch out for the Calgary defense jumping up. Captain Mark Giordano has 33 points, Dougie Hamilton has 38 and T.J. Brodie has 30.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog for the pregame show starting at 6:30 when they’ll be joined by starting goaltender Chad Johnson and newly called up forward Danny O’Regan.