The Oilers found themselves in Buffalo tonight for a battle-of-the-basement with the last-place Sabres. Martin Marincin drew back into the lineup while Oscar Klefbom came out after a rough night in Boston. By that logic, Nikita Nikitin should have taken a seat as well, but I guess we’re out of defensemen, aren’t we?
0:45 Neuvirth looks a little shaky with his rebounds. Can the Oilers capitalize?
2:45 The Gordon line pins the play down low in the Sabres zone for an entire shift following a defensive zone face-off win. Joensuu and Hendricks leading the way on that forecheck.
4:12 Obvious crosscheck from Andrej Meszaros right into Jeff Petry’s back. Oilers to the PP early.
6:00 Flynn makes Nikita Nikitin look silly on a shorthanded rush as he brakes down low, leaving Nikitin to drift behind the net, and cuts right in front of Viktor Fasth, getting a high quality scoring chance.
7:45 Pouliot puts a hard shot off the end boards after a passing play is broken up by the Sabres’ D.
8:00 Iiro Pakarinen shows good speed to get out in front of the Sabres D and get a partial break. Neuvirth with the save.
12:00 The Oilers have 12 shots through the first 12 minutes of the game. They’re getting a lot through to the net from the point.
13:00 Joensuu puts it just wide off a pretty slick pass from Matt Hendricks. The puck was bouncing a little bit.
14:45 Arcobello and Perron combine for a strong forecheck behind the net. Perron gets a good chance at the side, but puts it off Neuvirth’s skate.
17:00 Giveaway by Petry behind the net leads to a decent scoring chance for McCormick and a prolonged period of pressure in the Oilers zone.
17:50 A strong shift from the top line creates a handful of scoring chances. Benoit Pouliot has looked maybe the best I’ve seen him so far in the young season.
The Oilers are outshooting the Sabres 19-12 through twenty minutes, and have 24 shot attempts at 5v5 to Buffalo’s 17. Edmonton still managed to give up a few quality scoring chances to the home team.
If they can tighten things up defensively, limit those chances in front of Fasth, and continue to control possession, they should win this game.
0:25 Matt Moulson gets his first goal of the season right from the slot. Pouliot was a little soft on the stick check. 1-0 for the Sabres.
1:20 Iiro the Hero! Pakarinen puts away a huge rebound off a Mark Fayne shot from the point. Purcell made a smart play at the point to get it over to him. We can all take a breath.
3:30 Joensuu finds Arcobello out in the slot, but he puts it over the net.
5:00 A great cycle from the Oilers’ top line finishes with a shot from the point from Justin Schultz. Pouliot is starting to look comfortable on that line.
5:36 Classic Keith Aulie. Engages Chris Stewart in a fight while the Oilers are on a promising 3-on-2 the other way.
6:03 Andrej Meszaros goes off for the second time tonight, this time for slashing.
10:00 Mark Fayne hauls down Tyler Ennis as he bails out Martin Marincin who was caught flat-footed on the play. No call as Fayne caught the puck first, I guess.
11:40 Just after the midpoint of the game, the Oilers are outshooting the Oilers 29-17. Michal Neuvirth has been decent.
13:15 Ennis gets in behind Schultz and goes off on a breakaway. Viktor Fasth comes up huge once, twice on another play shortly after.
17:00 A really strong shift from the Draisaitl line, with prolonged offensive zone pressure.
18:40 Huge stop from Viktor Fasth on a Sabre standing right in the crease.
The shots are 33-20 for the Oilers thus far. They’ve given up quite a few, but they’re definitely dishing them out as well. Edmonton also leads with a 58.75 CF% at 5v5.
2:03 Keith Aulie just being Keith Aulie, going to the box for holding.
5:00 Yakupov picks off a pass in the NZ. He enters the Sabres’ end, passes it into the slot, but nobody is home.
5:50 Eberle finds Nugent-Hopkins trailing the play on a 2-on-1. Tyler Myers makes a great play to reach out and deflect the shot.
6:33 Drew Stafford makes something out of nothing by side-stepping Martin Marincin, cutting to the outside and putting it past Fasth. Sabres go up 2-1.
6:55 Oilers have a goal waved off as Gordon pushed Neuvirth into the net with the puck.
9:20 Larsson runs Nikitin from behind after the play. There should be a call there, in my opinion.
10:40 Benoit Pouliot makes a great play to saucer one out from behind the net to Nugent-Hopkins at the foot of the crease. He doesn’t get much on it and Neuvirth makes the save.
11:42 Mark Arcobello out-battles the Sabres defence out in front of the net and gets his stick on a rebound, making no mistake with the shot to tie the game up. Perron and Arcobello with the assists
15:45 Purcell makes a beautiful pass over to Boyd Gordon who puts it away for his second in two games. The Oilers are winning, I repeat, the Oilers are winning. Matt Hendricks made it all happen just inside the Sabres blueline.
17:00 The RNH line comes right back with some pretty play in the Sabres end, getting a couple more shots on net.
The Oilers ran into a hot goalie tonight in Michal Neuvirth, but their 52 shots on net prevailed. Viktor Fasth had a strong game as well, making 29 saves on 31 shots.
With three goals from three different line combinations, the Oilers snapped a four game losing streak and beat the worst team in the league. Even so, it was a well-deserved win.