Sabres at Oilers recap: Conacher scores first two goals as a Sabre, Buffalo wins 3-1

The Sabres snapped their seven game losing streak thanks to two new faces - Cory Conacher and Matt Hackett.

The Buffalo Sabres were in danger of setting a franchise record last night with their eighth straight loss, but Cory Conacher and Matt Hackett had other ideas.

Taking advantage of one of the worst defenses in the league, Conacher scored twice on two pretty tip-ins, while Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis combined for a beauty of a goal themselves as Hackett made 35 saves - including 14 on the power play - to secure Buffalo's first win since March 6th.

One game after recording just 14 shots, the Sabres put 36 on Ben Scrivens, and for the first time since the losing streak began, someone besides Drew Stafford scored. The goals were Conacher's first since being claimed by Buffalo off waivers just before the trade deadline. After the game, Conacher spoke about his first goals since February: “It’s definitely refreshing. I already had to get the monkey off my back one time this year, and it feels like it came off again tonight. But most importantly we got the win.”

The Sabres survived six Edmonton power plays, giving up just one goal with the man advantage while scoring one of their own. It was here that Matt Hackett earned his victory, stopping 14 of 15 shots he faced and keeping the game tied for the first 30 minutes until the Sabres exploded (relative terms here, people) for three goals. The victory was Hackett's first as a Sabre and fourth of his career.

The Sabres have finally reached 20 wins, though it took them 70 games to get there, but even with the victory last night they still sit in 30th place behind Edmonton by a solid 11 points with 12 games to go.

Three Questions

1. How will Lieuwen Hackett look in his first career NHL Sabres start?
Matt Hackett looked good last night, making 35 saves in the win. Hackett came up big on the power play with 14 saves, and was calm and composed all night in the crease.

2. Will anyone besides Drew Stafford or Tyler Ennis score?
Yes, and thank goodness. For the first time in eight games, someone besides #21 and #63 scored, as #88 potted two. Just for good measure, Stafford continued his torrid pace by adding a goal tonight.

3. Which team will leave tonight regretting their rebuild more?
The Oilers just lost to an historically bad last place team, but they did pick up an important two points in the race to the bottom.

Three Stars

1. Cory Conacher - 2g, 1a
2. Taylor Hall - 1g on 7 shots
3. Matt Hackett - 35 saves earns the win

Comment of the Game

Too bad every team isn't Edmonton.

The same has been said about the Sabres many times this season, but yes.