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Adam Ruzicka scores the go-ahead goal for the Flames, who beat the sloppy Sabres 4-3

Thu, Oct 19, 2023
NHL News (AP)

Adam Ruzicka scores the go-ahead goal for the Flames, who beat the sloppy Sabres 4-3

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Adam Ruzicka scored the go-ahead goal on a bad-angle shot 4:35 into the third period, and the Calgary Flames never trailed in a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Blake Coleman and Walker Duehr also scored, and Calgary improved to 1-1-1 three games into a five-game Eastern trip. Dan Vladar stopped 24 shots in his season debut in net.

Tage Thompson, JJ Peterka and Erik Johnson scored for the Sabres, who gave up the opening goal for the third time in four outings. Rookie Devon Levi stopped 33 shots, but appeared off his game in his fourth consecutive start of the season.

Ruzicka scored on a shot from just above the goal line to beat Levi through the legs. Duehr scored Calgary's second goal by slipping a shot through Levi's legs from the right circle.

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And the night almost got worse for the 21-year-old when MacKenzie Weegar nearly scored on a shot from just past the center line with 11:12 left in the third period. Levi was late to react and got his right pad down to stop the puck just inside the post. Officials ruled the puck did not go in, and their call stood following a lengthy review.

Buffalo is carrying three goalies but placing its faith in Levi, who closed last season by going 5-2 with the Sabres after completing his third college season at Northeastern.

Levi also got little help in front of him in a sloppy outing for Buffalo that ended with the Sabres spending the final 67 seconds short-handed after being penalized for too many men.

Ruzicka's goal was set up after Nazem Kadri forced a turnover by Connor Clifton at the left boards. And the Flames went up 3-2 on Coleman's goal 1:52 into the third period when Dennis Gilbert created a turnover at Calgary's blue line by knocking Sabres rookie Zach Benson off the puck.

The teams traded goals in a first period that ended tied 2-2.

The Flames struck first, 49 seconds in, when Levi lost sight of a rebound that squirted to his left, and Huberdeau fired it in off the goalie's skate.

The period ended with Thompson tying it with his first of the season. It was Buffalo's first power-play goal in 11 opportunities. Johnson's goal was his first in 69 regular-season games, dating to April 26, 2022, though the former Colorado player scored twice in the playoffs since.

ANDERSON THE MENTOR

Former goalie Craig Anderson, who retired after last season, is rejoining the Sabres to work in a part-time mentorship role. The 42-year-old ranks 31st among NHL goalies and fifth among U.S.-born netminders with 319 career wins. He closed his 20-year career playing two seasons in Buffalo, where he provided a young, developing team a veteran voice.

"Craig Anderson's voice, experience, and love for the game have been invaluable components to our team's growth over the past two seasons," GM Kevyn Adams said. "Our players have benefited greatly from the habits and lessons he picked up during his accomplished 20-year career."

Anderson will work with both players and the coaching staff.

UP NEXT

Flames: At Columbus on Friday night.

Sabres: Continue a four-game homestand, facing the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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