CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames have given fans at Scotiabank Saddledome plenty to celebrate of late.
Mike Cammalleri’s goal midway through the third period stood as the winner after Joni Ortio was forced to make just 13 saves to lift the Flames to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
The win is Calgary’s ninth in the past 11 games on home ice.
Tied 1-1 going into the third, Cammalleri broke the game open by tipping Chris Butler’s point shot behind rookie goaltender Nathan Lieuwen at 9:16 to put the Flames up 2-1, extending his point scoring streak to five games in the process.
Paul Byron gave Ortio and the Flames a two-goal cushion with Calgary’s league-leading 12th shorthanded goal of the season, busting in on Lieuwen before sliding a shot between the legs of the 6-foot-5 goaltender at 13:27.
Though they were firing on all cylinders in the third, the Flames were slow out of the gate in the first period.
On just the Sabres third shot, Drew Stafford opened the scoring in the game.
After stripping Ben Hanowski of the puck behind the net, Stafford’s wraparound caught an unsuspecting Joni Ortio by surprise to put Buffalo up 1-0 at 13:22 of the first period.
Joe Colborne sent the game tied into the second intermission.
With just 1:02 remaining in the middle frame, Colborne swatted a rebound off Sean Monahan’s initial attempt behind a downed Lieuwen for his eighth of the season to square the game 1-1.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Busting in alone shorthanded, Byron deked Lieuwen before sliding the puck between the legs of the lanky Sabres goaltender for his fifth of the season.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Near the midway mark of the second period, Ortio went post-to-post to deny Cody Hodgson’s one-timer to keep the Flames within one of the Sabres.
Goals four minutes apart from Cammalleri and Byron gave Calgary a two-goal cushion late in the third period that Buffalo couldn’t overcome.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Flames held the Sabres to a season-low 14 shots on Tuesday, the second time this season they’ve limited the opposition to that number after a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on March 8.
Kenny Agostino was scratched against the Sabres. Markus Granlund (upper body), Jiri Hudler (lower body), Dennis Wideman (upper body), David Jones (upper body) and Karri Ramo (lower body) all missed the game due to injury.
The Flames host the Nashville Predators on Friday (7 p.m. MST, SNET-West, Sportsnet 960 The FAN).