The Buffalo Sabres didn’t score two goals in the first 90 seconds. That was the first hurdle. After thumping Edmonton last night 10-2, Buffalo entered into the Dome to face Calgary who opened their first game since the All-Star break. The Western division dominates the East so Buffalo had a sense coming into Calgary meant a tougher challenge
Mike Cammelleri opened the scoring capitalizing on a ill-advised clearing attempt down the middle. Unassisted and also on the powerplay. That would complete the scoring for the first.
Calgary continued the scoring in the second when Dion Phaneuf scored a lucky goal, one that goaltender Ryan Miller would like to have back. Nonetheless Dion will take his fifth of the year (just over a million a goal). With a two goal lead could the Flames coast into the end?
The referees decided to get involved; it’s been sometime since we’ve seen a referee aided game. Going both ways, however, so they were consistent, but weak hooking and holding calls changed the momentum of the game literally handing Buffalo chances.
It didn’t help that Calgary started by forgetting assignments in the defensive zone starting with Lombardi’s weak attempt to stop Drew Stafford for Buffalo’s first. Buffalo tied it before the end of the second which paved the way for an exciting third.
Things were tentative in the third but Calgary was capable of executing their gameplan of in your face forechecking. The penalties stopped and that permitted the team to pick up momentum five on five. Todd Bertuzzi opened the game up with a nice breakaway score that went top shelf.
Not to be outdone, Mike Cammalleri capitalized from a pretty cross-ice feed on the powerplay from Jarome Iginla to get his second. Chalk this one up as lucky as well as Miller banked the puck into his own net. Not even two minutes later, on the forecheck again, the top line went +3 and Mike Cammalleri potted the natural hat-trick.
A nice end to a game the Flames should have won considering Buffalo faced the second in back to back games. Cammalleri is the hero again potting his 24,25, and 26 the goals of the season. maybe he’ll exceed Iginla come April? We’ll see if Iginla can give him a run for his money, it would be intense to have both peaking just before the playoffs…..
Notes: Jim Vandermeer was out again as a healthy scratch.