Stajan scores in OT, Flames beat Sabres 2-1

Paul Byron led the Calgary Flames to a win over the team that

drafted him.

Byron scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the overtime

winner and Calgary beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in overtime on

Saturday afternoon.

”I was really excited to play in this game today,” Byron said.

”It’s been a while since I got traded, but I saw this game was

coming up and I just tried to play as well as I could.”

Byron and Chris Butler were sent from Buffalo to Calgary at the

2011 draft for Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and a draft pick.

The two teamed up to tie the game in the third period, when

Butler picked up the puck behind the Buffalo net and passed to

Byron in front, who scored his first goal of the season at

8:19.

”With (Byron) and I both playing here before, it’s special,”

Butler said. ”It’s always fun to come back here. I enjoyed 2 1/2

years here and it was a big part of the start of my career.”

Matt Stajan scored 42 seconds into overtime and Karri Ramo made

26 saves for the Flames, who have won three straight road

games.

Matt Moulson scored for the Sabres, while Jhonas Enroth made 24

saves in the loss.

The win was Calgary’s first in the First Niagara Center after

losing eight straight games. The Flames’ previous road win versus

the Sabres came in 1996 at Memorial Auditorium.

Byron has been involved in the Flames past four goals, including

consecutive overtime assists, as he tries to stay with Calgary. He

was recalled from Abbotsford of the American Hockey League on Nov.

28.

”Paul is such a little Energizer bunny,” Calgary coach Bob

Hartley said. ”He works hard and he’s fun to watch. Right now,

he’s great to put on the ice. That’s two games in a row now in OT

that he gives us the win.

”He’s finding a way to spend Christmas in Calgary.”

The teams were scoreless into the third period when Zemgus

Girgensons made a strong rush down the right side of the Flames

zone before sliding a backhand pass into the slot. Moulson shot it

by Ramo at the 5:40 mark for his 11th goal of the season and his

first in six games.

A first-round pick of the Sabres in 2012, Girgensons has five

points in his past seven games.

The Flames tied the game less than 3 minutes later.

The Sabres came close to opening the scoring nearly 11 minutes

into the game, when Ramo lost sight of the puck in his crease.

Stajan knocked the net off its moorings before Ville Leino could

score.

Calgary scored in the final minute of the first period, but the

goal was disallowed and the Flames were assessed a penalty for too

many men.

”One player jumped,” Hartley said. ”We tried to get two

dollars for a looney with two players out there.”

Girgensons and Tyler Myers both put shots off the post in the

second period as both teams struggled to find quality scoring

chances.

”I’d rather only talk about the third period,” Hartley said,

”Because the first 40, I don’t know how it was from the press box

or the stands but from the bench, but `ugly’ is a gentle

word.”

Enroth was at his best during the second period, stopping 13

shots, but his finest moment came with a glove stop of Joe Colborne

shortly after Buffalo took the lead.

”I thought he played a very good game,” Sabres interim coach

Ted Nolan said. ”That shot at the end, it was a very quick shot.

Just one of those things we have to get more than one goal.”

Matt D’Agostini had a chance to put the Sabres up with under

four minutes to play before shooting the puck into the glove of a

prone Ramo.

The Sabres had five power plays, but their 26th-ranked power

play could not produce a goal. The Flames have killed 27 of their

past 28 penalties.

Calgary also struggled with the man advantage, as Buffalo killed

off all four of its penalties.

Marcus Foligno took three minor penalties in the game and was

benched for all but 21 seconds of the third period.

”You don’t mind penalties, but you once you get lazy and start

grabbing people, cross-checking people for no reason, you’re better

off not playing,” Nolan said.

The Sabres are home again on Tuesday when they play host to

Winnipeg, while Calgary continues its road trip against the New

York Rangers on Sunday night.

NOTES: The Sabres recalled LW Matt Ellis from their American

Hockey League affiliate in Rochester before the game as Cody

Hodgson missed his second game with a lower body injury … Flames

RW David Jones played his 300th career game … Buffalo also

scratched healthy defenseman Mark Pysyk and center Luke Adam.