Although they had success against Calgary earlier in the season, the Sabres were unable to repeat their performance this time. The Flames scored four unanswered goals as they locked down a comfortable 4-1 victory over Buffalo on Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
A third period collapse gave way to the Flames and they took advantage of it. Josh Jooris, Joe Colborne and Johnny Gaudreau each scored in the final 11 minutes of play and ran away with it. All-star Gaudreau also knotted the game at one in the opening period.
“Every game’s huge,” Colborne said. “Even though this is an Eastern Conference team, it doesn’t matter. That’s two points we can put into the bank. To start the homestand, that was important to put the winning feeling back in here.”
The Sabres’ struggles continue as the losing streak has hit 12 games, all of which have come in regulation.
“If we knew the answer we would try to fix it,” Stewart said. “I wouldn’t say its lack of effort. We’ve just got to get mentally tough. You look at the last 11 games. We’ve been up in those games. We were in those games. It’s been the same story. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board. We’re going to Edmonton and it’s a must-win game. I think it’s up to the veteran guys and the leadership group to carry that message and lead by example. The followers will follow and the leaders will lead.”
Jhonas Enroth stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss as his record fell to 11-18-2 on the season. An early lead wasn’t enough to get the team going, but it looked as if the defense was holding up. After allowing 17 goals in the past three games, things seemed to be improving, but a rough third period negated all of it.
The Flames came out in the final 20 minutes and took control of the game.
“I think tonight it just landed right on the stick,” said Jooris, who had 11 goals in 73 games with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League last season. “It was a great play by [Colborne] to bear down and get it to the net and it just hopped right on my stick. I was on the fortunate side of that one. I think our line was going tonight and we deserved that one.”
The Sabres have a day off before they head to Edmonton on Thursday. That game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and can be seen on MSG.