Early on in this game the Flames came out as the club with the better legs. They were all over the Sabres early on, with the help of a few power play opportunities.
Carter Hutton was on his game throughout the night and allowed his teammates to get themselves going in this one. In the second half of the period, they started to take the play to the Flames a little more, similar to the game against the Canadiens last week.
Due to Hutton’s strong play, the Sabres were able to get on the board first. A lucky turnover in the neutral zone off the leg of a Flames forward allowed for a quick transition the other way.
Jack Eichel came down the wing a blew a nice shot over the glove of David Rittich to put the Sabres ahead 1-0. The shots in the period were tied at 11 each, but held a one goal lead after 20 minutes.
Early in the second period the Sabres got a nice break. The Flames looked to score after a ridiculous save by Hutton on Elias Lindholm. The rebound bounced off of the Sabres goaltender and slid into the net. However, the official blew the whistle before the puck crossed the line and the goal didn’t count.
Nonetheless, that save by Hutton will go down as one of the best of the season.
The Sabres started off the period sloppy defensively and only minutes after that great save, Hutton had to rob another Flames player point blank after a Rasmus Dahlin turnover.
Both sides exchanged chances throughout the period, but nobody was able to beat the opposing goaltender. The quick pace from the first period carried over into the second, for a pretty entertaining game through 40 minutes.
Things started to go downhill in the third period. The Sabres went into a shell and relied on Hutton to steal them the game, which he almost did. It took them a little over 12 minutes to register their first shot in the period.
After all of that they still held a 1-0 lead in the final minute. Then Matthew Tkachuk deflected a shot past Hutton with 55 seconds remaining to tie it at one.
As regulation expired the Flames took a tripping penalty to give the Sabres a two minute power play to start overtime. They were unable to capitalize and the Flames made them pay.
Rasmus Ristolainen gave the puck up (again) in the corner after botching a 3 on 2 for the Sabres. That error was compounded by another mistake from Sam Reinhart and the Flames were away on a 2 on 1 that Gaudreau finished off to give his team the victory.
Final: Flames 2, Sabres 1 (OT)
Shots on Goal:
Sabres Goal Scorers: Eichel (4)
Flames Goal Scorers: Tkachuk (5) and Gaudreau (6)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Carter Hutton (36 saves on 38 shots)
2. Johnny Gaudreau (1 G, GWG)
3. Sean Monahan (2 A)