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Flames Manhandle Sabres in Much Needed Victory

The Flames got a much needed win on Wednesday

Calgary Flames v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Calgary desperately needed a win against a very bad Buffalo team on Wednesday and they got it with a dominating performance.

1st Period: Calgary Flames 2, Buffalo Sabres 0

After a really good start from the Flames, they’d take advantage of a bounce and take the early lead. Mark Jankowski would bank the puck under Chad Johnson who would lose it, fall down, then swat it into the slot where Sam Bennett would step in and beat Johnson. Bennett’s goal was his 10th of the season. 1-0 Flames

Shortly after, that line would strike again as Bennett would beat Jankowski coming into the zone who would beat Johnson with a wrist shot from the slot. The goal was Janko’s 12th of the season. 2-0 Flames

Other than that it would all Calgary for the rest of the period but they wouldn’t score any goals as they dominated the Sabres. Which is exactly what they should be doing. Final shot attempts in the period were 28-11 for Calgary.

First Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 2 17 0/0
Sabres 0 6 0/0

2nd Period: Calgary Flames 5, Buffalo Sabres 0

Buffalo would get an early powerplay but some nice penalty killing would ensure they wouldn’t cut into the Flames lead.

A few minutes later Mark Giordano would add to the Flames lead with his point shot finding its way through a crowd. The goal was Gio’s 12th of the year. Micheal Ferland had an assist on the goal as well. 3-0 Flames

Calgary would further extend their lead shortly after with a beautiful passing play by the top line, as Johnny Gaudreau would find Sean Monahan across the ice who would one-time the puck into the top corner past Johnson. Sean Monahan gets his 30th of the year! 4-0 Flames

Buffalo would get a powerplay with a delay of game penalty to Mikael Backlund. Calgary would kill it off again.

The rough stuff would pick up with Mark Giordano being leveled but Curtis Lazar coming to his defense. Matthew Tkachuk would also get a glove to the head from Robin Lehner and send Calgary to the powerplay.

Dougie Hamilton would further extend the Flames lead on the powerplay with him burying a shot past new Sabre goalie Robin Lehner for his 15th goal of the season. Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau with assists on the powerplay goal. 5-0 Flames

Second Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 3 14 1/1
Sabres 0 11 0/3

3rd Period: Calgary Flames 5, Buffalo Sabres 1

Calgary would keep pushing in the third albeit not with the same aggresiveness that they did in the first two periods as both teams ran out the clock. A little rough stuff and a few penalties but much not else occurred.

With 17 seconds left Casey Nelson would end David Rittich’s bid for his first career shutout with a shot that may have deflected off Hathaway before beating Rittich. I’m sad. 5-1 Flames

Flames Win!

Third Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 0 10 0/1
Sabres 1 9 0/0

Final Thoughts

  • Calgary absolutely dominated Buffalo from start to finish
  • March 15 1996 was the last time the Flames won in regulation in Buffalo
  • Very encouraging to see the Flames dominate a team they should after they’ve had games against similar teams slip away
  • Sean Monahan hit 30 goals for the second time in his career
  • David Rittich wasn’t tested much tonight but looked good, I’d expect to see him against Ottawa
  • Sean Monahan left midway through the third and did not return
  • The whole team looked really solid tonight

Flame of the Game

Calgary Flames v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Mark Jankowski (F): The Flames centre had one of his best games of the season, picking up a goal and an assist and was flying for most of the night. He also had 4 shots in only 12:20 of ice time. The Flames will need more performances like tonight from him down the stretch.