Calgary Flames 3 - Buffalo Sabres 4 (OT)
This one wasn’t exactly the smoothest or best performance by the Flames, but they were able to squeeze out a point after losing to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in OT Wednesday night. The Flames fired 33 pucks at the net, but three posts and three huge saves by Linus Ullmark were the big difference in getting one point as opposed to two.
This game started off bad for the Flames as Jack Eichel would ring one off the post within the first minute and it looked like the Flames were going to be caught flat footed and fall behind early. That was not the case. The Flames would draw first blood as Johnny Gaudreau would fire home a rebound off an Elias Lindholm shot and the Flames would grab a 1-0 lead. Buffalo would tie the score in the second period on an Evan Rodrigues breakaway and what seemed like a low scoring, possession style game was settling in....not so much.
If the first two periods were like a chess match, the third period was not. The lack of offence would disappear in the third period as the Flames and Sabres would combine for four goals on 14 shots. Buffalo would grab their first lead of the game at 10:56 of the third when Jake McCabe would send home his 4th of the season giving Buffalo a 3-2 lead. Calgary would scrap and claw their way back into this game and get the equalizer off the stick of Noah Hanifin at 11:34 and we’d end regulation tied at 3-3.
Overtime was quick as the Flames had a good chance to try and end it, but the Flames passed on a few shot opportunities and Jack Eichel would not and make the Flames pay. The former #2 overall pick would beat David Rittich with a back hand shot with just over a minute gone in the extra frame to give Buffalo a 4-3 OT win.
1st: 19:59- (PPG) Gaudreau (28) (Lindholm/Giordano)
3rd: 6:49- (PPG) Tkachuk (24) (Lindholm/Gaudreau), 11:34- Hanifin (4) (Lindholm/Andersson)
2nd: 9:45- Rodrigues (4) (Mittelstadt)
3rd: 7:34- Dahlin (5) (Reinhart/Eichel), 10:56- McCabe (4) (Unassisted)
OT: 1:10- Eichel (16) (Ristolainen)
Calgary at times looked really good and looked as if they were going to pull away, but Linus Ullmark stood on his head and held the Flames off of the score sheet, especially in the second period. The Flames only put eight shots on goal in the second, but the Sabres goalie was more than up for the task of keeping the Flames off the scoreboard.
The Flames out shot the Sabres 33 to 23, but the oddest stat came in the final period and OT. Buffalo would take two shots in the third period and both would go in. They would then take only one shot in overtime and that shot would find the back of the net. It’s rare to get three straight goals on three straight shots, but that’s exactly what the Sabres did to the Flames.
The Flames got good goaltending from David Rittich as usual, but he had some bad luck in front of him. One Buffalo goal was tipped off of Michael Frolik’s stick and another came through a great Buffalo screen. Some nights it’s your night, some nights it’s not. You can’t really fault Rittich for this one, it’s just one of those games that the Flames were bound to lose and tonight they did.
Flame Of The Game
Johnny Gaudreau (F). Gaudreau had another multi point night collecting a goal and an assist. For a while he looked like he would win this game on his own by throwing the Flames on his back. In the end part of that statement was true as he DID carry the Flames through this contest. He would finish with the second most TOI and he was tied for tops in SOG with four.