The Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers are two teams that are sitting at the bottom of the league. Both teams are defensively challenged and that was readily on display on Friday night with a total of 83 shots on goal between both teams. Edmonton alone had 52 shots on goal, a season high both for them and allowed by the Sabres. Even with all those shots, the Sabres were in the game for most of the night until they gave up two unanswered goals in the final ten minutes of the game on their way to a 3-2 loss.
After a scoreless first period, the Sabres got themselves on the board relatively quickly in the second period as Matt Moulson got his first goal of the season just 26 seconds into the period. The Oilers responded just 54 seconds later as Iior Pakarinen scored his first career goal. Notorious Oiler killer Drew Stafford put the Sabres back on the board at the six minute mark of the third period with a fantastic wrist shot from the right face off dot. That Sabres lead would last only five minutes when Mark Arcobello scored his fourth of the season to tie the game and Boyd Gordon scored four minutes later what ended up being the game winner.
The goaltenders both got a workout as the defensive lapses from both teams kept Neuvirth and Fasth on their toes. Neuvirth made 49 saves in the losing effort and sounded extremely frustrated after the game. "We got outworked and they wanted to win more than us, so good for them. But we have to wake up. This can't be happening, especially on home ice."
One note that might come into play later is the game misconduct taken by Tyler Ennis after the game. Once the final horn sounded, he made some comments to linesman Derek Nansen and tapped him on the leg with the stick. That earned him a game misconduct and probably some more discipline from the league. Add to that a one game suspension to a mysterious player that was announced by Tim Murray before Friday night's game and Saturday night against Pittsburgh could be a bigger romp than it was the week before.
Three Questions Answered
1.) Will Drew Stafford get on the scoresheet?
The Oiler killer struck again for his third goal of the season and second in as many nights. Stafford now has 10 points in seven career games against Edmonton and at least a goal in six of those seven.
2.) Will the Sabres continue to get standings points?
No, but in the grand scheme of things is that all that bad?
Comment of the Night
Having seen my dad lose his fight with pancreatic cancer, I can’t imagine what RJ’s going through with throat cancer. I can’t imagine the pain coupled with the inability to speak, something you’ve spent your entire life doing and based your career around.
I'm glad he's cancer free, and I wish him a great recovery.