Recap: Explosive offense leads Sabres to 6-2 victory over Oilers
Ryan O’Reilly scored a career-high four points to lead the Sabres to their first win of the year.
After the first game of the season, the Buffalo Sabres had many of their fans worried thanks to a lackluster effort on offense, some glaring mistakes on defense, and goaltending that didn’t rise to the occasion.
Last night’s 6-2 drubbing of the Edmonton Oilers should put many of those concerns to rest, at least for a day.
The Sabres offense was clicking last night, in large part thanks to the duo of Ryan O’Reilly and newcomer Kyle Okposo. Playing in his first game as a Sabres, Okposo opened the scoring 2:37 into the first period, assisted by O’Reilly and Sam Reinhart, who has points in two straight. Okposo would add his first assist as a Sabres on O’Reilly power play goal later in the first.
But KO wasn’t the only Sabre to find his name on the score sheet multiple times. O’Reilly had a career-best four points (2+2) including a hilarious center-ice goal, while Brian Gionta also scored twice and Rasmus Ristolainen notched three assists in the victory. Heck, even Matt Moulson had a power play goal for the second straight game.
Dan Bylsma was as happy a the Sabres fanbase after the game, saying, “Looking back at the Montreal game, no question we were out of sorts a bit right from the start of that game. I don't think we had it at any time in that game. Tonight was completely, completely different mentality, completely different focus from our team … I thought we played a smart game and a heads up game. That's how the Buffalo Sabres need to play.”
Bylsma must have also been happy with the performance of the reunited Foligno-Larsson-Gionta line, who put two goals on the board and held the red-hot Connor McDavid without a point after the young stud put up six in his first two games.
It was a good team win, including a nice bounce back effort from Robin Lehner, who made 31 saves. The two goals came on odd-man rushes, and after giving those two up to close the first period, Lehner stone-walled the Oilers for the next 40 minutes.
The loss will go down in history as the first-ever loss for the Oilers in the new Rogers Place, and the victory pulls the Sabres back to even on the season.
1 - Will anyone get hurt tonight?
No, thank goodness.
2 - Will Connor McDavid make us feel bad about ourselves?
Also no, also thank goodness.
3 - How will the new guys look in their regular season Sabres debuts?
Kyle Okposo looked great tonight, putting up his first two points of the season. Kulikov struggled a bit more, going -2 on the evening, the only defenseman to do so. He was involved in both odd-man rushes against, and got burned on the second Oilers goal.
Comment of the Game
The house that approximately two-thousand #1 draft picks built.