Quick hits: Sabres 4, Flames 2 - The Buffalo News
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Quick hits: Sabres 4, Flames 2

The Sabres scored more in two minutes than they had in any game all month. It was joyous chaos in Buffalo.

After being stuck on two goals or fewer in 10 straight games, the Sabres struck in a hurry Monday against Calgary. They scored three power-play goals in 1:41 during the second period, the long-awaited burst lifting them to a 4-2 victory.

Buffalo hadn't scored that many times since a 3-1 win in Winnipeg on Oct. 30. The Sabres improved to 7-8-4 with their second straight win in KeyBank Center.

A one …: The Sabres’ goal barrage began with 8:33 left in the second. Sam Reinhart found Kyle Okposo alone in the slot, and the right winger went high to end his seven-game goal drought. Okposo, who notched his sixth of the season, hadn’t scored since Nov. 5 against Ottawa.

Reinhart, meanwhile, picked up his first assist in nine games.

And a two …: Buffalo took a 2-1 lead 36 seconds later with a deflection by Johan Larsson. Evander Kane took a low shot from the top of the zone, and Larsson tipped it past goaltender Brian Elliott for his third goal of the year. The Sabres hadn’t scored two goals in one period since the third period of a 2-1 victory over Ottawa on Nov. 5.

And a three …: Matt Moulson scored just eight goals in 81 games last year. He potted his seventh in Buffalo’s 19th game to put the home team up, 3-1. Okposo’s cross-ice pass gave Moulson a wide-open net, and the winger pointed at his good friend after burying the shot with 6:52 left.

The power-play goal was Moulson’s sixth of the season.

In a hurry: The three goals in 1:41 were the Sabres’ quickest trio since they connected in 1:08 versus Boston on April 3, 1998, according to Elias Sports. The franchise record for fastest three goals is 39 seconds. Pat LaFontaine, Wayne Presley and Donald Audette lit the lamp March 22, 1992, at Chicago.

Short answer: After the forgettable second period, which featured six penalties, Calgary opened the third on a positive note. Matthew Tkachuk's deflection soared high into the net, cutting the Sabres' lead to just 3-2 with 22 seconds gone.

Two-goal cushion: Marcus Foligno made sure the Flames would need another pair to tie it, scoring 1:51 later to make it 4-2. Foligno's fourth of the year came as he crossed in front of the crease and deposited a backhand with 2:13 off the clock.

Reinhart earned his second assist of the night.

Helping out: Taylor Fedun had two assists, giving the Sabres defenseman four in three games since his recall.

Streaking: The Sabres improved to 10-0-1 in their last 11 home games against Calgary. They finally hung a regulation loss on Elliott, who was 11-0-2 against Buffalo during his time with Ottawa, Colorado and St. Louis.

Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner ended a five-game winless skid with 29 saves.

Missed opportunity, golden opportunity: The Sabres had a prime chance to take a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes, entering the Flames’ zone on a four-on-two. Kyle Okposo passed across the ice to Johan Larsson, who dropped the puck to defenseman Cody Franson. Calgary defenseman stopped Franson from taking a shot, and the Flames turned the other way for a three-on-one.

Unlike Buffalo, the Flames capitalized. Michael Frolik sent a cross-ice pass to Mikael Backlund, and he easily beat a sliding Lehner to make it 1-0 with 5:21 off the clock.

Decent first: The huge mistake marred a relatively good opening period for the home team. Buffalo outshot the Flames, 13-9, with several shots coming from point-blank range. The top line of Evander Kane, Larsson and Okposo combined for five shots.

Broken record: Once again, Rasmus Ristolainen attempted a slap shot from the point on the power play. Once again, his stick shattered. That’s at least seven instances for Ristolainen, who practiced with a different stick over the weekend but stuck with this year’s model.

After an animated second-period discussion with coach Dan Bylsma on the bench, Ristolainen finally ditched the white Warrior Covert and went back to his Bauer Nexus.

Counting the house: Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who earned applause while being shown on the scoreboard, was among the announced crowd of 17,526.

Next: The Sabres close a four-game homestand Wednesday when they welcome Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott and the Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres will follow with two straight on the road. They visit Alex Ovechkin and Washington at 5 p.m. Friday. Buffalo continues its tour of North American capitals when it visits Ottawa on Tuesday.

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