Matt Stajan scored the winning goal 42 seconds into overtime, and the Calgary Flames defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 giving them their first victory in Buffalo since 1996.
Stajan took a pass from Paul Byron, who also scored for Calgary (13-15-4), before skating toward the left circle and firing a wrist shot past Jhonas Enroth for his sixth of the season.
"I just came off the bench and Paul Byron saw me coming in. I was actually looking to one-time it. He threw the pass pretty hard to me, it wasn't a one-timer," Stajan said. "It's actually a good thing, because it was almost like a fake shot and it froze the goalie a little bit and I could take a couple of steps and let a wrist shot go."
Karri Ramo made 26 saves for Calgary, which defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime Thursday. The Flames visit the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Matt Moulson scored for Buffalo (7-23-3), who got 24 saves from Enroth.
Sabres rookie forward Zemgus Girgensons made the play that opened the scoring. He skated down his off wing before centering the puck toward the slot. Moulson, who had a step on a backchecking Mike Cammalleri, beat Enroth for his 11th of the season 5:40 into the third period to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead.
Calgary had a strong chance to tie the game with 12:03 left in the third when Joe Colborne led a 2-on-1 rush with Brian McGrattan. Colborne fired a hard wrist shot, but Enroth made a glove save to preserve the lead.
But Byron tied the game 22 seconds later. Chris Butler found Byron with a pass from behind the net. From there, Byron lifted the puck past a falling Enroth for his first of the season at 8:19.
The goal was especially sweet for Byron, who was called up from Calgary's American Hockey League affiliate in Abbotsford on Nov. 28. Byron was originally drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round (No. 179) of the 2007 NHL Draft and played eight games for the Sabres in 2010-11 before being traded to Calgary.
"I was really excited to play in this game today. It's been a while since I was traded and I saw this game was coming and just tried to play as well as I could," Byron said. "This team drafted me and developed me and put a lot of time into me. I appreciate everything they did for me over those years. It gave me an opportunity here in Calgary."
The victory marked the second straight game in which Byron assisted on an overtime winner. He set up Butler's OT goal against the Hurricanes on Thursday.
"I feel that he had a great camp but we had lots of players. We decided that it was maybe better for Paul to go back to Abbotsford and get some playing time," Flames coach Bob Hartley said of Byron. "Right now he's flying, he's smart with the puck and he's giving us great minutes on penalty killing. He's finding ways to spend Christmas in Calgary."
Each team thought it scored in the first period.
Cammalleri was certain he opened the scoring with 18 seconds left and Ramo pulled for an extra attacker during a delayed penalty to Marcus Foligno. Cammalleri took a centering pass from T.J. Brodie and beat Enroth from in close, but the Flames had too many men on the ice, which negated the goal.
"One player jumped. We tried to get two dollars for a [dollar]," Hartley said. "From the bench, it looked like a great play. But the referees picked it up. It's a mistake on our part."
The Sabres thought they had scored 10:57 into the first period when Ville Leino's shot from the half-wall was blocked and the puck went directly to Brayden McNabb at the point. McNabb's slap shot was stopped by Ramo and the puck sat in the crease in the middle of a goalmouth scramble. Leino eventually put the puck over the goal line, but by then the net had been pushed off its moorings.
Brian Flynn beat Ramo from in close 2:42 later but his shot hit the crossbar. It was the second time in the period the Sabres struck iron.
"It's been a theme here for a while. We need to learn to put it in and get a break. We hit four goalposts tonight. We've just got to keep going until eventually they find themselves in there," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "Jhonas, I thought he played a great game. That shot at the end was a good shot. We need to get more than one goal."
With 1:03 remaining in the second period, Brodie was whistled for hooking Moulson to give Buffalo its fifth power play of the game. The Sabres did not score, making the teams a combined 0-for-9 with 11 shots.
The Flames and Sabres entered ranked 25th and 26th, respectively, in power-play efficiency. And it showed.
"I'd rather only talk about the third period. The first 40, ugly is a gentle word," Hartley said. "We found a way to win and that's the most important thing."
Buffalo finished the game without forward Cody McCormick, who left in the second period with an upper-body injury.
After failing to register a point in the past four games, Byron earned his second consecutive two-point game. Two days the Flames fired general manager and Brian Burke took over as interim GM in the hopes of making the Flames more competitive, the 5-foot-7 Byron is doing his part to impress his new boss.
"[Burke] said there is room for smaller players but he just wants to put some beef beside them," Byron said. "Hopefully I can be one of those smaller guys. Hopefully I've got a future here."
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