Buffalo Sabres' Torrey Mitchell

Flames down struggling Sabres

CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri’s 20th goal of the season midway through the third period was the game-winner Tuesday night as the Calgary Flames downed the visiting Buffalo Sabres 3-1. Calgary’s Mikael Backlund beat Matt Ellis on a face-off in the Sabres end, drawing the puck back to Chris Butler. From the blue-line, Butler’s shot towards the net was neatly deflected by Cammalleri past Nathan Lieuwen.

CALGARY — Mike Cammalleri’s 20th goal of the season midway through the third period was the game-winner Tuesday night as the Calgary Flames downed the visiting Buffalo Sabres 3-1.

Calgary’s Mikael Backlund beat Matt Ellis on a face-off in the Sabres end, drawing the puck back to Chris Butler. From the blue-line, Butler’s shot towards the net was neatly deflected by Cammalleri past Nathan Lieuwen.

Cammalleri has been red-hot in March with seven goals in his last nine games. That came after a stretch leading up to the NHL trade deadline in which he had one goal in 14 games.

The 31-year-old, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he doesn’t re-sign, takes over the team lead in goals from rookie Sean Monahan.

Joe Colborne and Paul Byron also scored for Calgary (28-34-7). Chris Butler added two assists as the Flames won for the ninth time in their last 11 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo (19-42-8). The last place Sabres, who have dropped seven games in a row, entered the night 11 points back of 29th place Edmonton.

The Flames got a key insurance goal from Byron at 13:27 of the third, making it 3-1 on Calgary’s league-leading 12th shorthanded goal of the campaign.

Byron made no mistake wristing a shot past Lieuwen after being sprung on a breakaway by Butler.

After trading Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues at the deadline, the Sabres were poised to move forward with the goaltending tandem of Jhonas Enroth and newly picked up Michal Neuvirth.

However, injuries to both of them resulted in the Sabres opening a five-game road trip with Lieuwen, 22, making his NHL debut while his back-up— with 13 NHL games of experience— was Matt Hackett. It was just three days ago that they were the goaltending duo with Buffalo’s American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester.

After a lacklustre first period in which the Flames fell behind 1-0, they came out with more energy in the second period and took the play to Buffalo.

However, the 6-foot-5 Lieuwen stood tall and repelled the attack for the longest time— making a blocker save off Mikael Backlund, a glove grab off Cammalleri, and another big stop on Byron on a power play.

The Flames finally broke through and drew even with 1:02 left in the second.

TJ Brodie’s slapshot missed the net and caromed sharply off the end boards. Sean Monahan got a stick on it and it eventually came out to Colborne, who buried his eight goal of the season to tie it.

Playing on a line with Monahan and Cammalleri, Colborne has been playing his best hockey of the season of late with four goals and six assists in his last 13 games.

Buffalo entered the night struggling mightily, amassing just five goals in six straight regulation-time losses.

Stafford had three of them and he kept up his hot hand notching the opening goal at 13:22 of the first period.

Flames rookie Ben Hanowski skated behind his own net with the puck before spinning to reverse the puck the other direction.

To his surprise, however, Stafford was right there on the end boards to intercept it. Stafford curled out front and on a wraparound, quickly tucked in his 14th goal behind surprised goaltender Joni Ortio.

Lieuwen finished with 21 saves in losing his first decision. Ortio had 13 stops to even his record at 4-4-0.

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month