CALGARY -- Welcome from the Pengrowth Saddledome, which is fittingly named after something that goes on a horse. Fitting why? Because I still feel like horse (apples). Even worse, Kevin Sylvester said that's what I look like, too. But in 15 hours I'll be in Phoenix, and the desert will do wonders, I'm hoping.
So the battle of Alberta is no contest. Calgary wins by a country Red Mile. It has charm, it has landmarks, it has everything you'd expect from an Olympic city. Edmonton was like ... Rochester, but bigger.
The press box walk was everything I was told it would be. If you come up the west elevator, you have to walk across the catwalk above the ice. I have a nice picture looking through the scoreboard down at center ice.
In Sabres news, Ryan Miller will start in goal again, while Andrew Peters will replace Adam Mair in the lineup. Mair blocked a shot in Tuesday's win and needed stitches on his leg.
7:52 p.m.: Oh, and by the way, what terrible news about the Boston Hotel. Thankfully, I was there two of the past three Mondays.
8:11 p.m.: Game on. Looking forward to seeing Calgary captain Jarome Iginla play. Don't think I've seen him in person.
8:17 p.m.: Michigan beats Michigan State for the opening goal. Chris Butler commits bad turnover to former Wolverine Mike Cammalleri in front of the net. Miller, a Michigan State product, stops him once but can't the second time. It's 1-0 Calgary on the power-play goal just 3:51 in.
8:23 p.m.: In my illness I totally forgot: The world's best-looking actress Elisha Cuthbert might be here. She's dating the Flames' Dion Phaneuf, as anyone who followed the Sean Avery saga knows.
8:30 p.m.: Midway through, still 1-0.
8:44 p.m.: End of one, it's 1-0. The Sabres' penalty killers shined with a five-on-three kill, but their power play couldn't even the score for them. Calgary holds a 10-9 edge in shots.
9:13 p.m.: We have 12:09 left, and it's 2-0 Calgary. Phaneuf intercepted a pass at center ice, skated into the Buffalo zone and bounced a shot toward the net from the goal line. The hop threw off Miller, and it slipped between his pads with 4:10 gone.
No shot of Cuthbert on the scoreboard afterward.
9:17 p.m.: Two straight two-on-ones for the Flames, but no goals. Jaroslav Spacek breaks up the first, and David Moss misses an empty net on the second.
9:22 p.m.: Drew Stafford was not going to be denied his fourth goal in two nights. Winger wins battle for puck down low, receives return pass from Tim Connolly and bulls way to net with 8:17 left. It's 2-1.
9:24 p.m.: Phaneuf, possibly hardest hitter in league, buries Jason Pominville along bench.
9:35 p.m.: Tim Connolly also continues his hot streak, tying the game on the power play with 50.8 seconds left. He has six goals in the past five games.
9:54 p.m.: Game on. This Sabres team just doesn't let adversity get to it since the big win over Dallas two weeks ago in which they came from three goals down.
10:07 p.m.: We'll see if what I said just now is true: Todd Bertuzzi gives Calgary a 3-2 lead with 12:52 to play.
10:23 p.m.: Cammalleri puts the Sabres and his old college rival away, scoring twice in 1:24 to give the Flames a 5-2 lead. Hats stream from the crowd with 6:52 remaining.
The Flames might just be getting hot, too. They keep skating toward Miller and hold a 41-27 edge in shots with 2:50 to go.
The trip to Phoenix won't be as joyous for the Sabres as the short journey from Edmonton to Calgary was.
Stafford: "We worked really hard to get back in the game, get back to 2-2, and the third period we just didn’t focus on getting pucks to the net. We didn’t get anything going.
"There’s no excuses for this. Every team has got to play in your own end in order to be successful. It was just a poor effort in the third in our own end and as far as getting pucks to the net. That’s something we’ve got to get ready for in Phoenix."
Butler on the opening goal: "I had a lane 15 feet wide, and I hit a guy that’s 36 inches wide. It’s just a play you’d like to have back, for sure, because I can make that play. Next time around, I will."
Miller: "We did a great job battling back in the second period, bailed me out after a bad goal. No matter what the shots on goal are, it’s my job to keep the boys in the game and give them a chance to win. Unfortunately, I don’t feel I did a very good job of that."
Lindy Ruff: "Things were going pretty good. We had the first couple scoring chances in the third, and it seemed once they got the go-ahead goal we got sloppy, we got careless, and that led to the fourth and fifth."
taggedSabres game day