CALGARY – Sean Monahan scored 2:26 into overtime as the Calgary Flames picked up their first win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Monahan made a little move and neatly beat Robin Lehner over his shoulder for his first of the season after being set up alone in front by Johnny Gaudreau.
Michael Frolik, Micheal Ferland and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for Calgary (1-2-1), which continues its three-game homestand Thursday against Carolina. It’s the first win also for new coach Glen Gulutzan.
Zemgus Girgensons, Ryan O’Reilly and Marcus Foligno scored for Buffalo (1-1-1). The Sabres play in Vancouver on Thursday.
Calgary trailed 2-1 entering the third period but tied it at 1:10. Foligno’s turnover in his own corner was taken by Ferland, who darted straight to the net and lifted a backhand into the top corner.
Foligno made up for his error on his next shift, with a nifty inside-out move to sidestep Deryk Engelland and then wristing a high shot past Chad Johnson on the glove side.
The Flames got it back to even once more at 4:52 on the first NHL goal for Tkachuk. The 18 year old snapped a shot from off the wing that beat Lehner over his shoulder on the short side.
Tied 1-1 after the first period, O’Reilly put the Sabres into the lead on a power play and via some misfortune for Calgary defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
O’Reilly’s slap shot from the top off the face-off circle was kicked out by the right pad of Johnson but the puck hit Hamilton in his chest and bounced into the net.
That goal came shortly after a stretch of nearly 18 minutes in which the Sabres never generated a shot. However, Calgary could not solve Lehner during that stretch. Included was a couple squandered power plays including a 5 on 3.
Johnson made 18 saves for the victory. Lehner had 30 stops in the loss.
Calgary tied the game 1-1 at 16:12 of the first period.
In their first stretch of sustained pressure, they eventually capitalized with Frolik digging out a loose puck lying by the pad of Lehner and sliding in his third goal.
Buffalo opened the scoring at 7:25, taking advantage of a mishandling of the puck by Calgary defenceman TJ Brodie. Tyler Ennis was the beneficiary of the turnover and he zipped a pass in front where Girgenson deflected it into the top corner.
Notes: Gaudreau was blanked again and has been held to just one assist in four games… Veteran defencemen Dennis Wideman and Nicklas Grossmann were scratches for the Flames as rookie Brett Kulak got in the line-up again. Wideman and Grossmann have a combined 1,350 games in their NHL career.