Sabres Douse the Flames in Second Road Win

<em>Buffalo Outscores Calgary Despite Being Outshot</em>

Score: Sabres 6, Flames 3

Shots: Buffalo 32, Calgary 43

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Alex Tuch (3), Dylan Cozens (1), Rasmus Dahlin (1), Casey Mittelstadt (1)

Calgary Flames Goals: Andrew Mangiapane (1), Trevor Lewis (1), Nikita Zadorov (1)

Plus 1: Tuch Steps Up

Sabres forward Alex Tuch continues to demonstrate why he’s a valuable offensive asset. Tuch got a hat trick, netting his first goal of the night early in the second period, after Calgary pulled starting goalie Jacob Markstrom. No. 89 made quick work on backup netminder Dan Vladar, turning a 3-1 Sabres lead into a 4-1 rout.

After the Flames got a garbage goal to make it 4-2 Buffalo with a Trevor Lewis wrister in the period’s waning seconds (thanks to an assist from one of the refs, who kicked it), Nikita Zadorov made another quick goal on Eric Comrie early in the third, and the Flames were smelling blood.

The Sabres looked like they’d blow their early lead, but Tuch rode to the rescue. After Casey Mittelstadt drew a Zadorov tripping penalty four minutes later, Tuch got a wrist shot with an assist from Thompson and Mittelstadt to give Buffalo a 5-3 lead.

Tuch would head the Sabres’ cavalry once more, after the Flames pulled their goalie late in the game. The Sabres wasted a power play opportunity to put Calgary away, but Tuch scored an empty netter to seal it 6-3 with 1:25 to go.

Michael Closser had the Comment of the Game: “That’s a Tuch trick”.

Plus 2: Dahlin Delivers

Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin keeps getting better the longer he plays. Dahlin contributed to the Sabres’ early dominance during the first period, getting the team’s second goal at the 9:11 mark of the first, with assists from Peterka and Hinostroza:

By getting that goal, No. 26 made history, becoming the first NHL D-man to score in each of his team’s first four games to start a season. On top of that, Dahlin has scored eight times in 12 games dating back to Apr. 12, the highest total for a defenseman during that period.

Plus 3: Comrie Blocks Aggressive Opponents

Sabres head coach Don Granato’s decision to start Eric Comrie in goal during the past two games shows major confidence in the new netminder. Comrie has been outstanding, stopping a high-powered Edmonton Oilers’ offense and now a previously undefeated Calgary Flames team.

Comrie blocked 46 of 48 shots against the Oilers and stymied the Flames with 40 out of 43. When the Sabres faced heavy pressure in their last two matchups, the former Winnipeg Jets goaltender came up big to keep Buffalo in the game. GM Kevyn Adams’ gamble on Comrie appears to have paid off, at least for the present.

Final Thoughts

The Buffalo Sabres are playing aggressive consistent hockey, not taking their foot off the gas and blowing scoring leads. When the team runs into trouble, players regroup and find a way to close out games. If they keep this up, fans will return to the stands and the Sabres will finally shake off the dark cloud that’s hung over the franchise since their playoff drought began.

The Sabres continue their western road trip with a Saturday night visit to the Vancouver Canucks. Puck drop is at 10 p.m.