Game over

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 PM ET

NEXT GAME: CALGARY FLAMES AT EDMONTON OILERS TOMORROW AT 7 P.M., TV: SPORTSNET, RADIO: FAN 960

SUN THREE STARS:

1. D ROBYN REGEHR, Flames -- Best bodycheck of the season and the go-ahead goal to his credit.

2. G MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF, Flames -- Made some great stops despite long periods of inactivity.

3. G MARTIN BIRON, Sabres -- Kept game close in third period.

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TURNING POINT:

Killing off almost four consecutive minutes while shorthanded near the game's midway point was huge for the Flames. They scored on a brief powerplay of their own shortly thereafter to take a two-goal lead.

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BIG SAVE:

Miikka Kiprusoff made a couple of beauties in the second period. First, he got a piece of Derek Roy's blast from with his glove while moving across the crease. Then, Kiprusoff got his paddle on a sneaky wraparound attempt by Thomas Vanek after the rookie faked a shot from in close and peeled around the net.

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HARD HIT:

Forget about the goal he kicked in, Robyn Regehr's highlight of the night was a flashy bodycheck that looked like it was straight out of a video game. Regehr crushed Ales Kotalik over the boards, flipping the Sabres forward into his own bench late in the second period. Kotalik hardly had to move to take his seat after the play.

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UNSUNG HERO:

Jordan Leopold, D, Flames -- Made two key plays to kill off 45 seconds of the Sabres' five-on-three advantage in the second period.

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FIGHT CARD:

Calgary D Andrew Ference and Buffalo F Derek Roy traded blows after time expired.

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SCRATCHES:

* CALGARY -- D Roman Hamrlik (knee) missed his fourth straight game after a brief return against the Rangers from a serious sprain suffered in December. C Jason Wiemer was the odd man out. D Bryan Marchment (knee) and F Byron Ritchie (knee) are out indefinitely.

* BUFFALO -- G Mika Noronen and D Rory Fitzpatrick were healthy scratches. F J.P. Dumont (sports hernia), F Adam Mair (concussion), F Taylor Pyatt (wrist) and F Daniel Briere (sports hernia) make up the Sabres' injured brigade.

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BURNING QUESTION:

Has anyone seen a better hit this season than the one Robyn Regehr unleashed on Ales Kotalik?

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WHAT IT MEANS:

With the win, the Flames move to 14 games above .500 for the first time since April, 1994.

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NOTEWORTHY:

Byron Ritchie was seen walking without a limp in the bowels of the Saddledome after treatment yesterday ... Flames alumni participating in the Esso 3 on 3 Pond Hockey Classic were introduced before the opening faceoff last night.


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