Sabres fall to Flames in OT

Coming off a near weeklong road trip in which they travelled to Boston before spending a few days in Florida to take on the Panthers and Lightning, where they split their matchups in the Sunshine State. Tonight’s game was the first of two meetings this year between the Sabres and Flames after the road team won each game last season. This trend continued as the Flames repeated last year’s performance in Buffalo, earning a 3-2 win in overtime as the Sabres struggles continued.

This game saw the return of Marcus Johansson to the lineup since last playing November 9 in Sweden and is also the first game Rasmus Dahlin missed in his career after suffering a concussion against the Lightning. After the first period saw both teams exchange scoring chances for a majority of the opening 20 minutes, TJ Brodie scored his first of the year with over two minutes remaining in the period after the puck slid behind Linus Ullmark. Despite a slim edge in shots on goal, the Sabres trailed Calgary heading into the first intermission.

Linus Ullmark, making his fourth start in the team’s last five games, as he stopped 26 of 29 shots faced against Calgary. This game also saw its fair share of physicality, with 22 blocked shots and 22 hits between both teams, and the Flames finished the game with advantages in both categories.

After Johansson was called for a holding penalty, the Sabres penalty kill, despite ranking near the bottom of the league, had played impressively in tonight’s game up to that point in not allowing a goal. Jimmy Vesey, who scored his first goal as a Sabre on Monday against Tampa, scored his second on a breakaway set up by Rasmus Asplund, who earned his first career point on the goal.

The final period, which began with a Buffalo power-play and the game tied at 1, saw the Sabres earn their first lead of the night after Victor Oloffson scored just under a couple of minutes into the period. His ninth of the year, which came off assists from Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel, resulted in a 2-1 lead.

However, it did not last long, as Matthew Thachuck responded for Calgary, scoring his 12th goal at the 4:02 mark, and would result in the game being tied for a majority of the third and it headed to overtime with a 2-2 score. Elias Lindholm scored the game-winner at 1:17 into the OT fame and the Flames won 3-2 on the road.

“It’s been a tough stretch, a lot of games we’ve liked the way we’ve played for the most part…the bounces weren’t there for us at that moment (in 3rd) and in overtime..”- Jimmy Vesey

Although the Sabres finished with a 36-29 edge in shots, Buffalo has now won only 2 of their last 13 games after winning 8 of their first 10.

“Definitely frustrating the final result, it’s a painful situation that we have to manage..”- Ralph Krueger.

The Sabres will remain at home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs this weekend for the first game of a home-and-home series as they look to get beyond tonight’s loss. The first of the two games will be played Friday night at KeyBank Center, with puck drop set for 7 p.m.

Robert Janish, Jr.
Robert Janish, Jr.
One of the most memorable Sabres games I ever attended was the line brawl against the Senators, which Buffalo won in a shootout, 6-5. I can't wait for the day when playoff hockey returns to Buffalo. I graduated with a Masters in Sport Administration, and a Bachelor's in Political Science & Communication Studies from Canisius College.
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