Stajan scores in OT, Flames beat Sabres 2-1
Paul Byron led the Calgary Flames to a win over the team that
Byron scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the overtime
winner and Calgary beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in overtime on
”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
”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
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.
”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
Calgary scored in the final minute of the first period, but the
goal was disallowed and the Flames were assessed a penalty for too
”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
”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
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
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.