Calgary Flames 3 - Buffalo Sabres 6
1st: CGY 4:21- Mangiapane (Dube/Kadri), BUF 6:34- Cozens (Bryson/Hinostroza), BUF 10:49- Dahlin (Peterka/Hinostroza), BUF 13:10 (Short Handed) Mittelstadt (Power/Hinostroza)
2nd: BUF 00:46- Tuch (Power), CGY 19:58- Lewis (Huberdeau)
3rd: CGY 1:09- Zadorov (Andersson/Toffoli), BUF PPG 5:41- Tuch (Thompson/Mittelstadt), BUF 18:35- Tuch (Empty Net, unassisted)
The old adage is that speed kills and it sure did tonight. The Buffalo Sabres came out and were just faster than Calgary and the final score of 6-3 doesn’t even seem as close as it was. Buffalo had plenty of scoring chances, this despite the Flames coming back with vengeance and getting within one at 4-3. Nikita Zadorov got that third goal on a gorgeous snip......and then took a tripping penalty shortly after leading to the 5th Buffalo goal that put this one away.
The Flames defence was a mess tonight, which led to a ton of odd man rushes for the Sabres on on the night and had the Flames chasing for a good chunk of the game. Jacob Markstrom was pulled after one period of action where he surrendered three goals on 12 shots. It hasn’t been an easy start for the Flames top keeper and tonight certainly didn’t help as he’ll be on the hook for the loss. The newly extended Dan Vladar would replace him and even though he gave up a goal on the first shot he saw, played very well and allowed the Flames to hang around in hopes of tying it a minimum. That didn’t happen and Buffalo would leave the Saddledome with a 6-3 victory. dashing the Flames hopes of an undefeated season.
-Remember above when I said it didn’t feel that close? It shouldn’t have been. The Flames were lucky it wasn’t 8-3 at least. Buffalo hit four posts on the night that clearly had beaten Flames goaltenders. So there’s that to be thankful for.
-Calgary’s defence clearly suffered without Noah Hanifin in the lineup tonight. He was listed as a healthy scratch and was replaced by Connor Mackey. Hanifin’s value was on clear display as the mixed pairings just weren’t clicking. There was too much pinching, too much being out of position and just all around sluggish skating. Here’s to hoping it’s something small and not something like a long term injury or trade. This blueline needs Hanifin.
-Teams around the NHL got a good look at how to beat the Flames tonight. Calgary needs to find a way to be as fast as their opponents or slow things down to a pace that’s more comfortable for them.
-Finally, the Flames top line needs to get going. Jonathan Huberdeau, Tyler Toffoli and Elias Lindholm were non factors in the game tonight. The Flames bottom nine has been fairly consistent in the first four games, but the top unit has been all over the place....and not in a good way.
Flame Of The Game
Nazem Kadri (C): 1 assist, 2 SOG, 3 hits
10/22: Calgary Flames vs Carolina Hurricanes, 8 PM MT