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The Calgary Flames find themselves in the midst of a heated Western Conference playoff race coming out of the All-Star break. Bob Hartley is hoping better goaltending can help them end a five-year playoff drought. Theyll look to start the seasons second half in strong fashion Tuesday night when they host the struggling Buffalo Sabres. Calgary (25-19-3), a point ahead of Los Angeles for the Wests second wild-card spot, won the first four on a five-game trip prior to a 6-3 loss in Anaheim on Wednesday. Goaltender Joni Ortio, who had limited opponents to five goals while starting the previous four games after being called up, gave up four goals on 11 shots. Jonas Hiller, who hadnt started since facing 35 shots in a 6-5 loss to Florida on Jan. 9, stopped 14 of 15 shots in relief and will start Tuesday after Ortio was reassigned to Adirondack. Calgarys 2.64 goals-against average ranks third-worst among teams in playoff position, ahead of San Jose (2.67) and the Islanders (2.78). (Ortio) was playing really well and we were winning so no reason to change, Hiller told the teams official website. At the end you want to have success as a team and we had that. Now Ill try to help the team to have more success. Were still in the picture. I think its a great position were in but from here its not going to get easier. All-Stars Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano continued their strong play in Sundays exhibition with Gaudreau recording two assists and Giordano posting one. Gaudreau had four assists in his last five games before the break while Giordano, who leads all defensemen with 40 points, had a goal and three assists in his last four. The Flames appear likely to avoid a season-high fourth straight home loss as they take on the last-place Sabres (14-30-3), who have lost 15 of 16 and a franchise-worst 11 in a row. All 11 losses have come in regulation, the most consecutively since Pittsburgh lost 13 straight from Jan. 13-Feb. 12, 2004. Calgary has no power-play goals in a season-worst five straight games, coming up empty on 14 opportunities. Buffalo has given up 13 power-play goals on 36 chances during its losing streak, however, and allows opponents to score on a league-high 26.2 percent of chances. The Sabres went into the break on a particularly sour note on Jan. 18 at Detroit, squandering a 3-0 first-period lead in a 6-4 loss. That defeat dropped them to 0-10-1 on the road since Dec. 4 We gave our team an extra two days (off). Its been a real tough grind on all of us, trying to find our game and so forth. I think it did us real good, coach Ted Nolan said. The guys were much fresher (Monday) on the ice, their spirits were more lifted. Its one of those things where its good to get away and forget about it and start fresh. Buffalo has been without right wing Brian Gionta (concussion) and defenceman Mike Weber (lower body) for the last 13 and two games, respectively, but both return this evening. Rookie Nikita Zadorov, tied for the team lead among defensemen with eight points, was suspended for failing to report to the team on time following the All-Star break. The Flames lost 4-3 at Buffalo on Dec. 11 despite a 45-19 advantage in shots, their biggest advantage in a loss since outshooting Chicago 47-19 in a 3-2 road shootout defeat on Feb. 2, 2013. Theyve won six of the last seven meetings in Calgary, however. Flames Projected Lines Gaudreau - Monahan - Beartschi Bouma - Backlund - Jones Raymond - Jooris - Colborne Byron - Stajan - Bollig Giordano - Brodie Russell - Wideman Diaz - Engelland Hiller starting Ramo Sabres Projected Lines Moulson-Girgensons-Ennis Flynn-Mitchell-Gionta Stafford-Hodgson-Stewart Deslauriers-Ellis-Kaleta Myers-Gorges Benoit- Meszaros Weber-Strachan Enroth starting Game Notes: BUF is 1-0-0 vs CGY this season, winning at home CGY has won 4 straight at home vs BUF, BUF last winning in Oct 2003 Calgary: lost 3 straight at home, 11GA, 3/5 on PK, tied longest home losing streak on season Monahan (4G, 1A) 4 game PT streak Buffalo: lost 11 straight, outscored 49-16, 23/36 on PK Ennis (3G, 1A) last 2 games Evan Marshall White Sox Jersey . Not Peyton Manning. Hes holding on to the heartache to stoke his competitive fire. Al Simmons Jersey . Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe? It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. https://www.cheapwhitesox.com/1614e-reyn...-white-sox.html. PETERSBURG, Fla. Johnny Callison White Sox Jersey .5 million, four-year contract with the Texas Rangers that could be worth $32. George Davis White Sox Jersey . -- Top-ranked Stacy Lewis birdied the last three holes and five of the final six Thursday for an 8-under 64 and a share of the lead with Mi Jung Hur in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors are back home after a five-game western swing and will entertain the New Orleans Pelicans tonight at Air Canada Centre. You can see all the action on TSN beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. The Raptors went 2-3 on their western jaunt and will play eight of the next 10 games at home, where they are 7-1 since Jan. 1. Toronto has a 12-10 home record this season. The trip concluded with Fridays 118-105 setback against the Los Angeles Clippers, as DeMar DeRozan ended with 36 points and eight assists, and Kyle Lowry finished with 19 points. DeRozan tried closing the gap for the Raptors, but the Clippers were able to pull away for the win. "We got it down to nine points," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "We had to attack but we struggled making shots." DeRozan averaged 28.3 points per game on the trip, while Lowry posted an average of 15.6 points and 5.6 assists over the previous five games. Defense has been key for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, as they are fifth in the NBA in points allowed (97.1) and ninth in opponent field goal percentage (.4466).dddddddddddd They have won six straight games when allowing less than 100 points and are 22-6 when the opposition scores less than 100 points. New Orleans opened a three-game road trip with Sundays 93-81 loss at Brooklyn and entered the game having won two straight and six of eight. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Pelicans shot just 36.1 percent for the game and made 6-of-18 3-pointers. "We just didnt play well tonight," said Davis, who has scored 20-plus points in three straight and six of seven games. "We know it, the coaches know it, everybody knows it." New Orleans has lost two in a row on the road, has a 9-16 record away from the Big Easy and will close the trip Wednesday at Milwaukee. The Pelicans and Raptors are meeting for the first time since Toronto took both matchups a season ago. The Raptors have prevailed in six of the last seven encounters with New Orleans and are unbeaten in the past three showdowns at Air Canada Centre. ' ' '

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