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game recap

Lucic scores, Flames hang on for win against Sabres

Forward gets first goal with Calgary, which has won three games in row

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Lucic caps off great passing play

BUF@CGY: Lucic puts away excellent return feed

Milan Lucic taps a return pass into the open net on an odd-man rush to extend the Flames' lead to 4-1 in the 3rd period

  • 00:43 •

CALGARY -- Milan Lucic scored his first goal with the Calgary Flames in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist, Johnny Gaudreau and Tobias Rieder scored, and Derek Ryan had two assists for the Flames (14-12-4), who have won three in a row and are 4-0-1 in their past five games after going six straight without a win (0-5-1). David Rittich made 26 saves.

"We're trending in the right direction, and our game keeps building the way we want it to go," Lucic said. "I think not only that, we're getting contributions throughout the whole lineup. Everyone's a part of it, and we're going to need more of that moving forward."

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Flames highlights]

 

Sam Reinhart, Jake McCabe and Jack Eichel scored, and Victor Olofsson had two assists for the Sabres (13-11-5), who are 2-1-2 in their past five. Linus Ullmark made 25 saves.

"I don't think we played a very good game," Olofsson said. "I feel like we didn't play well at all. Started OK, and then Calgary, I thought they took over. They were a lot better than us today up until the last few minutes of the game where we kind of woke up, and we fought to the end but couldn't get that last one in."

Rieder, playing his 400th NHL game, put Calgary up 2-1 at 11:18 of the second period when he slid a backhand between Ullmark's legs on a shorthanded breakaway.

"It always feels good, especially on the PK," Rieder said. "It was good. It was at the right time of the game, as well, it got us going. It was a big goal."

Video: BUF@CGY: Rieder goes five-hole for SHG on breakaway

Monahan one-timed a pass from Mikael Backlund to make it 3-1 at 15:02.

Lucic, acquired in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers for James Neal on July 19, scored on a return pass from Ryan to make it 4-1 at 3:58 of the third period.

"A little bit of relief," Lucic said. "It's always nice to get the first one with your new team. My teammates all along have been sticking with me and building me up, because it took longer than I hoped and probably a lot of people hoped, but good on everyone for all of the support, and I'm more than excited that I was able to do it in front of the home fans. I think they stuck with me, throughout the whole season so far, never game up on me."

McCabe made it 4-2 at 17:16, and Eichel scored on Buffalo's eighth power play of the game to cut it to 4-3 with 48 seconds remaining.

The Sabres were 1-for-8 on the power play. The Flames went 1-for-2.

"They pressured us all over the ice," Oloffson said. "You definitely saw it on the PK. We had a lot of power play chances, but we didn't convert, so that's one thing that we've got to be a lot better."

Reinhart scored 3:29 into the game on Buffalo's first shot on goal to make it 1-0.

Gaudreau scored on the power play to tie it 1-1 at 16:42. It was his first goal in 11 games.

"I was excited I got a goal," Gaudreau said. "They haven't been coming easy for me this year. It was nice. Hopefully, it gets me out of that little slump there and I keep putting them in the net."

Video: BUF@CGY: Gaudreau roofs blistering wrister for PPG

 

They said it

"Special teams got us again. I think we really came out strong in the first, and it got away from us a little bit in the second. We got away from our game plan a little bit. I think our forwards didn't do a good enough job of recognizing when we were turning pucks over in the offensive zone, and our gaps weren't as good as a result, which gave them more time and space." -- Sabres forward Sam Reinhart

"I think it's just been a statement week. We're starting to find our game a little bit slowly. We're still not 100 percent there, but the snowball's starting to pick up some speed. I don't know what it is ... nine out of our last 10 points. We've got to put together a little streak here and put ourselves in a good spot come Christmastime." -- Flames forward Derek Ryan

Video: BUF@CGY: Eichel wires wrister from the circle for PPG

 

Need to know

The Flames are 3-0-0 when by coached by Geoff Ward. ... Calgary forward Matthew Tkachuk had an assist on Gaudreau's goal to move within one point of 200 in the NHL and to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, four assists). ... Monahan has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. ... Eichel extended his point streak to 11 games (10 goals, 10 assists), matching his NHL career high, and is two points from 300 in the NHL. ... Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic returned after missing six games because of a lower-body injury.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Video: Four different Flames score in 4-3 win over Sabres

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