Flames dull Sabres

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

First Robyn Regehr used fancy footwork for the game-winning goal.

Then he provided one of the best body checks of the season.

You could say Regehr was the ultimate wrecking crew that impaled the Buffalo Sabres in the Calgary Flames 4-1 victory last night.

With the score even after one period and the Flames in need of a jolt, the hulking defenceman provided a couple of them.

The biggest would be how he broke the deadlock with a controversial powerplay tally 56 seconds into the middle frame.

Stationed in front of the net while the Flames were on a five-on-three powerplay, Regehr was on his knees when the loose puck bounded to his skate just outside the crease.

While attempting to get to his feet, he used his left foot to drag the puck into the yawning cage. (Showing some of the soccer skills that come with being born in Brazil, perhaps?)

Despite the Sabres' protests, the goal stood.

"I went to get up and swat at it. I don't know if it hit my leg or hit my foot. I have no idea, really," Regehr said. "I didn't see the puck. I knew it went behind me and I went to get off the ice and swat at it with my stick. In it went. There's not a whole lot to say about it."

Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff had plenty to say.

"I'm sure we'll get an apology from the league on it," Ruff snapped. "I don't know how their video judge can decide that in one second. Somebody's got to explain that to me.

"We've had reviews that were five minutes. Only two seconds when a guy kicks it in? C'mon. We didn't play well but it gave them the lead. It changed the composure."

Actually, the Sabres received an apology before the period was over.

According to Buffalo media relations co-ordinator Chris Bandura, NHL VP Colin Campbell reached GM Darcy Regier to tell him the goal should have been waived off.

NHL hockey operations VP Mike Murphy told the Buffalo News that would have happened had the play been reviewed by overseers in Toronto.

"Usually when a play is reviewed, there's a call to Toronto to say, 'What's your opinion?' " Murphy said. "None of those calls transpired before the puck dropped and, once the puck drops, you're out of luck."

Murphy said video goal judge Doug Young believed Regehr put his stick on the puck before it went in.

"It's very difficult (for Buffalo) to swallow -- for us, too -- especially in a building like Calgary's where it's tough enough to play," he said. "It's a mistake we're supposed to prevent. We have a bad night whenever it happens. Everyone's upset here."

Although a key turning point, it wasn't the only boost Regehr provided in helping Calgary win its sixth straight home tilt before a sell-out Saddledome crowd of 19,289.

Late in the second period, he sent Ales Kotalik wheeling into the Sabres bench with a clean check sure to be looped repeatedly into the highlight reels. Kotalik was spinning so quickly, he actually landed on his keister on the bench and only needed to strap back on his helmet.

"The only thing that would have made it funnier is if he picked up a bottle and took a drink of water like nothing happened," laughed Darren McCarty.

Calgary was full marks for the win, also receiving goals from McCarty, Kristian Huselius -- a second powerplay goal that came right after his team killed nearly four minutes of penalty time -- and Shean Donovan's empty netter.

Maxim Afinogenov replied for Buffalo.

Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 29 shots to earn the win in his 10th straight start, while Martin Biron stopped 33 for Buffalo.

- - -

CALGARY FLAMES: 4

BUFFALO SABRES: 1


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