Sabres come to life late, march past Flames

League: NHL

Posted on: 25 Mar, 2024 at 03:56 AM

Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

JJ Peterka broke a third-period tie with a go-ahead goal that sent the visiting Buffalo Sabres to a crucial 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Tage Thompson recorded one goal and one assist while Peyton Krebs and Connor Clifton each added a goal for the Sabres (34-33-5, 73 points), who snapped a two-game skid. Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 32 saves in the finale of a five-game road trip. He also collected one assist.

The Sabres, whose 12-season playoff drought is the NHL's longest active run of futility (and a league record), are six points behind the Washington Capitals for the Eastern Conference's second and final wild-card spot.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Flames (33-32-5, 71 points), who have lost three consecutive games and have just two victories in their past eight outings. Goalie Dustin Wolf stopped 25 shots in a game that was closer than the final score indicates.

As overtime was becoming a strong possibility, Peterka broke a 1-1 tie with 8:56 remaining in the third period. With Alex Tuch helping him, Thompson got the puck on the forecheck before sending a pass to the slot for Peterka to zip a one-timer for his 24th goal of the season.

From there, Luukkonen held strong to preserve the win, especially while the hosts had their goaltender pulled for an extra attacker. Luukkonen made a couple of clutch saves on deflections by Nazem Kadri.

Thompson and Clifton added empty-net goals in the final minute to round out the scoring.

Krebs gave the Sabres an early lead with his fourth goal of the season at the game's 4:53 mark. As he raced down the wing, Krebs found the mark just inside the far post with a snap shot that snapped a 29-game goal-scoring drought.

Huberdeau's power-play goal tied the clash just past the midway point of the second period. His attempt to center a pass to the front of the net ended up deflecting off the stick of a defenseman and into the cage for his 10th marker of the campaign.

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin left the ice late in the game after a deflected point shot bounced up and hit him in the head. Dahlin left on his own while play continued.

--Field Level Media