(AP Photo/Jeff McIntosh, CP via Yahoo! Sports)
I was forced to watch Ottawa dominate Toronto 7-0 on Hockey Night in Canada yesterday. Then I was hoping for a Calgary vs. Buffalo game to come on, but instead I had to sit through 3 of the most boring periods of hockey I’ve seen in a long time. By that I mean Vancouver’s 6-2 win over Montreal. I mean… 6 goals in 13 minutes… that wasn’t even all that exciting. Especially since Habs goalie Jose Theodore looked like he was doing his best to throw the game (Hell’s Angels Betting…maybe?!). Montreal’s defence was sleeping and Vancouver capitalized on many open opportunities. I hope all you Canucks fans have enough hockey sense not to let this win go to your head.
Since I couldn’t watch the Flames game, here’s the NHL.com recap of tonight’s Flames-Sabres game.
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Robyn Regehr wasn’t exactly sure how he got the puck into the Buffalo net. And he didn’t really care.
Regehr’s disputed second-period goal helped the Calgary Flames beat the Sabres 4-1 on Saturday night.
Calgary was on a two-man power play when Daymond Langkow’s shot hit Regehr’s skate in front and caromed in. Sabres goalie Martin Biron immediately argued that Regehr kicked the puck in, making an animated kicking motion with his leg for emphasis while making his case to the officials.
But the goal stood after a video review.
Regehr took a swat at the puck on the play but didn’t connect.
“I fell down and I knew the puck came behind me,” he said. “I went to get up and swat at it and I don’t know if it hit my leg, or it hit my foot.
“I have no idea really.”
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff certainly thought he knew how it happened.
“It’s a distinct kicking motion,” Ruff said. “It was kicked in, and I’m sure we’ll get an apology from the league on it. We’ve had reviews that lasted five minutes. That took two seconds and the guy kicked it in? Come on, I don’t understand how a video judge here can make that type of call when it’s that distinct.”
Still, Biron wasn’t blaming the officials for this loss.
“We can’t use that as an excuse,” Biron said. “We’re a much better team than what we showed. That’s not the reason why the game went the way it did. We all know that and that’s all that’s got to be said for that.”
Darren McCarty, Kristian Huselius and Shean Donovan also scored for Calgary, which has won three straight overall and six consecutive at home. Rookie defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Tony Amonte each had two assists.
Maxim Afinogenov scored for the Sabres, who lost their second straight game.
McCarty opened the scoring at 8:33 of the first period. After Phaneuf took a shot from the point, McCarty lifted the stick of Buffalo defenseman Toni Lydman and fired the puck past Biron.
Buffalo tied it when Afinogenov split the Calgary defense of Rhett Warrener and Phaneuf before deking past Miikka Kiprusoff for his 12th goal. Afinogenov scored on the Sabres’ first of three shots in the period.
After Regehr’s goal, Huselius put the Flames up 3-1 later in the second on the power play.
Regehr delivered the hit of the game in the second on Buffalo’s Ales Kotalik. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Regehr drove Kotalik over the boards into the Sabres bench.
“I had the angle on him and I knew he was going wide,” Regehr said. “He jumped back to try and miss the hit and by doing that, he got up and I just finished my hit and put him into the bench.”
The hit caused Kotalik to do a complete flip and land so he was sitting upright on the bench.
“I was trying to find the puck between my legs,” Kotalik said. “He caught me right at that moment when you’re on your heels and kind of backing off and flat footed. That’s just part of the game. It was a good clean hit.”
Kiprusoff made a great stop on a wraparound try by Thomas Vanek. Kiprusoff reached behind him and placed his stick on the goal line to turn away the Buffalo rookie.
Donovan completed the scoring with a short-handed goal into an empty net late in the third.
The Flames went 2-for-6 with the man advantage and killed off all five Buffalo power plays. The Sabres came in second in the NHL in both power-play and penalty-killing efficiency.
“We weren’t up to the task on the special teams,” Ruff said. “Their special teams were a little bit better than ours.”