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game recap

Flames defeat Sabres on Lindholm's OT goal

Calgary finishes 2-0-1 on three-game trip; Buffalo 1-4-1 in past six

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Lindholm's overtime winner

CGY@BUF: Lindholm slips backhander home for OT winner

Elias Lindholm picks the puck up behind the net, skates out in front and tucks a backhander home to win the game for the Flames in overtime

  • 00:49 •

BUFFALO -- Elias Lindholm scored at 1:17 of overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Wednesday.

TJ Brodie and Matthew Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist for Calgary (12-12-4), which finished 2-0-1 on its three-game road trip. David Rittich made 34 saves.

Lindholm won it when he took a pass behind the net from Tkachuk, skated out in front, and backhanded a shot past goalie Linus Ullmark .


[WATCH: All Flames vs. Sabres highlights]


"It was huge," Lindholm said. "Obviously, the way the trip started (a 5-0 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 21) was tough. Tough to lose that one, [but] I think we battled back, and at the end there, [we] come home with a pretty good road trip."

Tkachuk tied it 2-2 at 4:02 of the third period on a rebound of Mikael Backlund's shot from the bottom of the right face-off circle.

Video: CGY@BUF: Tkachuk slams rebound home from the doorstep

Jimmy Vesey and Victor Olofsson scored, and Ullmark made 26 saves for Buffalo (11-10-4), which is 1-4-1 in its past six games.

"We definitely had the chances to put it away after the 2-1 [goal], and the inability to do that and then have a D-zone breakdown to allow them back into the game is really, really disappointing," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "Again, it's a painful situation that we have to manage and use in the right way.

"But if you look at the effort overall there was a lot of good hockey there from our side too, and I thought we recovered well from the first goal against, came back strong to take the lead and then, yeah, giving it up is definitely not acceptable."

Brodie gave the Flames a 1-0 lead on a shot from the right point that squeaked between Ullmark's pads at 17:55 of the first period.

Video: CGY@BUF: Brodie sneaks slap shot past Ullmark

Vesey tied it 1-1 with a shorthanded goal at 6:32 of the second when he broke in alone after Lindholm's pass attempt bounced off Rasmus Asplund.

A quick wrist shot from Olofsson inside the left circle gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead at 1:55 of the third period.

"When they make it 2-1, it's never fun in the third on the road, but we did a good job of getting back to our game, getting one and getting it to overtime," Tkachuk said. "You never know what can happen in overtime or a shootout, so it was a big extra point for us."

Video: CGY@BUF: Olofsson wires far-side wrister past Rittich

Buffalo outshot Calgary 16-12 in the third.

"I don't know what it is, but we're finding a way to not close out games," Vesey said. "Maybe things are snowballing just the way it's gone. We've got to get back to the start of the year. When we were playing like that, there was a really good feeling in this room and we've played that style for stretches. It's a results league, and right now we have to find a way to get back."

Calgary is being coached by associate Geoff Ward while the NHL and Flames continue investigating a claim that coach Bill Peters used racial slurs in addressing a player earlier in his coaching career.


They said it

"I think this group has been through a lot. The way last season ended, I think we as a group are pretty good and strong together and obviously, this thing going on right now, I think as a group we tried to stay calm and tried to do whatever we could out on the ice." -- Flames forward Elias Lindholm

Video: Elias Lindholm gets the EA Overtime Game Winner.

"We have to finish when we get a chance. Our power play's got to get a little bit better; it seems like that sort of sucks a little momentum out of us. We work hard, we spend time in their zone, we do a good job of drawing a penalty. [It] just seems like we can't buy one there right now. Five-on-5 too, we've got to do a better job of finishing our chances and closing out games." -- Sabres forward Jeff Skinner


Need to know

Lindholm has two goals in his past three games. … Tkachuk has points in consecutive games after being held without a point in the previous five. … Olofsson extended his point streak to five games (two goals, three assists). … Sabres center Jack Eichel had an assist to extend his point streak to seven games (six goals, six assists). 

What's next

Flames: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, SN360, CITY, SNW, TVAS, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday (4 p.m. ET; MSG-B, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Video: Lindholm's OT winner lifts Flames past Sabres, 3-2

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