It wasn’t the most entertaining win, but one the Buffalo Sabres needed. They were in control for most of the night over the Edmonton Oilers. They looked like a much different team than we saw last year who went to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.
The Sabres seemed a little snake bitten in the first period. They got the better of the chances but were unable to beat the Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit. It also didn’t help that they struggled with hitting the net in the opening 20 minutes. The two clubs headed to the locker room with no score after one. Shots on goal told the story with the Sabres holding an 11-4 lead.
After a pretty boring middle frame, the home team finally broke through. Kyle Okposo found Jacob Josefson in the slot. He beat Laurent over the glove for his first of the season and first as a Sabre to give his team a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Buffalo took a good grasp of the game early in the third. Jack Eichel came streaking down the wing and beat Brossoit on a goal he’d probably like to have back. From that point on they locked it down defensively. Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella did a great job shutting down the Connor McDavid line. While Robin Lehner did his part to make the big saves when he was called upon.
Okposo finished off one of his better games of the season scoring an empty net goal on a full ice shot to seal the deal for the Sabres. Yohann Auvitu did rain on the parade a little scoring with 19 seconds remaining to break the shutout.
The Sabres end their seven-game losing streak and the struggles continue for the Oilers. Sabres are back at it tomorrow with a visit to the Bell Centre to take on the Montreal Canadiens who may have Carey Price back in goal.
Final Score: Sabres 3, Oilers 1
Shots on Goal: Sabres 31 | Oilers 30
Sabres Goals: Josefson (1), Eichel (7) and Okposo (3)
Oilers Goals: Auvitu (1)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Kyle Okposo (1G, 1A)
2. Robin Lehner (29 saves on 30 shots)
3. Rasmus Ristolainen (2A, 27:32 TOI)
Comment of the Game
Was an encouraging return from Risto
And it was a noticeable difference. He may not be a true #1, but he’s an impact player without a doubt
What to Watch
1. Nelson down, Ristolainen back
Ristolainen records two assists and plays over 27 minutes in his first game back.
2. Seven in a row. Let’s not make it eight.
3. Kane, Okposo Hot Streaks
Kane picked up an assist, while Okposo scored a goal and added an apple.