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Goaltenders shine in Buffalo Sabres’ 1-0 win against Calgary Flames

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Tage Thompson scored the overtime winner and Dustin Tokarski made 24 saves as the Buffalo Sabres won 1-0 Friday night over the Calgary Flames.

Buffalo (21-33-8) has split the first two games of its Western Canada road trip, which wraps up Sunday night in Vancouver.

It’s a rare lost point on home ice for Calgary (37-16-8), which is 15-1-2 in their last 18 games at the Saddledome.

READ MORE: Dube scores go-ahead goal as Calgary Flames beat New Jersey Devils 6-3

It’s the second career shutout for Tokarski and first since 2013-14 with the Montreal Canadiens. He improves to 6-9-4.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski, left, robs Calgary Flames’ Calle Jarnkrok during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Friday, March 18, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves in he loss. He falls to 29-11-7.

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After playing a brilliant game, it was Markstrom’s mistake on the deciding goal. He charged out of the net to clear a puck that had been shot in off the sideboards, but in attempting to shoot to safety, he whiffed on it and Thompson was right there to corral it and fire it into the empty net.

The 24 shots was a season low for the Pacific Division-leading Flames.

After a lacklustre first period in which the teams combined for just 13 shots and few dangerous chances, things opened up a little more in the second period, but both goaltenders stood tall.

The save of the night and a contender for save of the season was a highlight reel effort by Tokarski, who dove across the crease to take away what appeared to be a sure goal for Calle Jarnkrok after he was set up for an empty net by a perfect pass from Andrew Mangiapane.

Jarnkrok was making his Flames debut after the 30-year-old Swede was acquired Wednesday from the Seattle Kraken for three draft picks. He centred a line with Mangiapane and Tyler Toffoli, acquired Feb. 14.

READ MORE: Calgary Flames send draft picks to Seattle Kraken for Calle Jarnkrok

While Calgary had the best scoring chance of the second, Buffalo had the greater quantity of dangerous chances but Markstrom turned them all aside including a barrage of dangerous chances in a seven minute span.

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First, he turned aside Jeff Skinner on a backhander as he drove to the net.

Shortly after, Markstrom went post-to-post to make a pad stop off defenceman Samuelsson, who had jumped up and got a perfect cross-ice pass from Zemgus Girgensons.

Shortly after that, Vinnie Hinostroza found himself all alone in front, but was unable to convert the centering pass.

That was followed by Dylan Couzens getting in alone on a breakaway, but again Markstrom made a pad stop.

The two best chances of the third period went to Calgary.

Eleven minutes in, Johnny Gaudreau spotted Chris Tanev sneaking in from the point and hit him with a diagonal pass, but Tokarski acrobatically got across to rob the Flames defenceman.

With four minutes left in the third, Matthew Tkachuk sprung Gaudreau on a breakaway, but he shot over the net.

It was another strong night for Calgary’s penalty kill. The Flames entered the night with the league’s fourth best penalty kill, but first at home where after a three-for-three night is 76-for-81 on the season at the Saddledome.

The Flames only had one power play and it came 30 seconds into the game.

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