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game recap

Foligno helps Sabres top Flames

Buffalo extends home winning streak against Calgary

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres got an awakening from their offense to help continue a long-running home winning streak against the Calgary Flames.

Marcus Foligno had a goal and two assists and Jack Eichel scored his 18th goal of the season to help the Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Flames at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

The Sabres are 10-0-2 against the Flames since Calgary's last regulation win in Buffalo on March 15, 1996.

Buffalo scored six goals in a game for the third time this season and for the first time since Feb. 12. The Sabres scored four goals in their past four games before they broke out against the Flames.

"When you're scoring, it's a lot of fun," Foligno said. "That's obviously great when you keep the goals down on your side. You never want to get in one of those 6-5 games, but tonight was a tough battle. That team was actually playing pretty well.

Video: CGY@BUF: Foligno's slick hands gives Sabres the lead

"They had a good game against Boston. I thought we needed that secondary scoring, and we got it. It shows that when you get all four lines contributing, it builds up more goals on our side."

The Sabres have scored 153 goals this season, equaling their season total from last season.

"I think we can be better offensively," Eichel said. "Obviously, there were some games this year where we weren't able to generate much. It's really good to see that take a step forward from a year [ago] and generate more, but it was a different room, a different environment. I don't think we should be satisfied with that."

Robin Lehner made 26 saves for Buffalo (26-31-8); the Sabres avoided a third straight loss.

Jonas Hiller made 29 saves for Calgary (26-34-4); the Flames have lost seven straight games.

Both teams combined for five goals in the second period after they went scoreless in the first.

Video: CGY@BUF: Eichel helps Buffalo take the lead

Mikael Backlund opened the scoring 3:18 into the second with his 12th goal of the season when he put a rebound off of a shot from forward Garnet Hathaway past Lehner to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen made it 1-1 with 9:33 left in the second with his ninth goal of the season. Ristolainen pinched in from the blue line and took a quick one-timer after a pass behind the net from Brian Gionta that beat Hiller through the five-hole.

Foligno and Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton traded goals 15 seconds apart.

Foligno made it 2-1 with 4:03 left in the period with a highlight-reel shorthanded goal; he slid the puck through the legs of Flames defenseman TJ Brodie, deked and put a backhanded shot past Hiller.

"I told him to never do it again, toe-drag," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said with a smile. "It was obviously a great move and got its way through."

Video: CGY@BUF: Monahan's goal evens the game at 3

The Sabres second line of Johan Larsson, Foligno, and Gionta combined for two goals and six points.

"It's a desperate moment where on the penalty kill you can make a move," Foligno said. "It's one-on-one there, so I just tried to do a little toe-drag, if that's what it was, and I got a quick shot off. When I beat him, I went up high. Those are the chances you have to take."

Hamilton made it 2-2 with a power-play goal when he skated into the right faceoff circle and took a wrist shot that beat Lehner high to the short side.

Nicolas Deslauriers made it 3-2, his fourth goal of the season, with 2:46 left in the period. After a turnover by Flames center Sean Monahan, Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian passed to Deslauriers who took a wrist shot that beat Hiller high to the glove side. It was Deslauriers' first goal in 42 games.

"You got a couple guys that don't get on the score sheet very often and they start to total," Bylsma said. "We haven't scored a lot recently."

The Sabres turned it on after Monahan made it 3-3 with his 21st goal of the season 3:56 into the third period.

Video: CGY@BUF: Hamilton's wrister knots the game at 2

Larsson put the Sabres ahead 4-3 with 10:29 left in the third when he received a pass in front of the Flames net from Gionta and lifted a backhand shot that beat Hiller over his left shoulder for his fourth goal of the season and third game-winning goal.

Eichel's power-play goal 3:15 after Larsson's goal made it 5-3. Eichel sent a wrist shot from the blue line after a pass from Evander Kane through a screen from Sam Reinhart past Hiller.

"Just trying to get pucks on the net and usually good things happen," Eichel said. "I haven't been scoring much lately. It's a great screen by Sammy. [Hiller] didn't even see it. It's not normally a hard shot, but it was able to find the back of the net because of a real good screen."

Kane added an empty-net goal with 1:31 remaining, tying Eichel and Reinhart for the team lead with 18.

Video: CGY@BUF: Ristolainen's goal ties the score at 1

Flames coach Bob Hartley acknowledged that each team had multiple scoring opportunities and the Sabres did a much better job of capitalizing on theirs.

"Lots of goals on both sides; they were very opportunistic," Hartley said. "It's not like we gave them a lot, but they took advantage of their chances. They have some great shooters. You look at Eichel's goal on the power play from the blue line. That was labeled for the top corner.

"I think we, again, had a few defensive mistakes, a few turnovers, and they made us pay for it."

Video: Sabres take victory over flames after a close match

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