Oilers outshoot but can't outscore Sabres in Buffalo
|Oilers forward Dustin Penner slips into the Sabres zone (photo: Getty Images)
by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
For the second straight game, the Edmonton Oilers outshot their opposition but couldn't outscore the Buffalo Sabres, dropping a 3-1 decision at the HSBC Arena on Wednesday night. Patrick O'Sullivan had the lone Oilers goal on the night.
returned to the lineup tonight for the Oilers, playing alongside Gilbert Brule
and Mike Comrie. All other lines remained the same with the exception of Nikolai Khabibulin
getting the start in goal.
Buffalo took the game's first penalty. Tim Kennedy held up Tom Gilbert
coming out of the Edmonton end, receiving two minutes for hooking to give the Oilers the game's first power play.
The Sabres were able to kill off that penalty with the Oilers failing to generate a quality scoring chance. Shortly after it expired, Buffalo went on the attack. During one goalmouth scramble, the puck trickled across the yawning cage but Buffalo was unable to punch it in.
After some sustained pressure, Buffalo finally struck to score the games first goal. Drew Stafford was perched at the top of the crease where he backhanded a rebound high glove side past Khabibulin.
Edmonton took their first penalty in two games with 2:14 left in the first period. Sam Gagner
upended Mike Grier as the former Oiler tried to skate out of his own zone.
After one period, shots on goal were 14-8 for the Sabres.
Miller made a huge save early in the second off Zack Stortini
. A weird bounce put the puck right in the slot for the big Oilers winger. His backhand on goal was kicked away by the Sabres netminder, however.
The Sabres moved in front 2-0 several minutes after that. After Steve Staios blocked a pair of shots from Tim Connolly before Steve Montador scooped up the puck at the right point. His blast then eluded Khabibulin to double Buffalo's lead.
Patrick O'Sullivan almost got Edmonton's first of the night after receiving a beautiful feed from Hemsky on a two-on-one. However, O'Sullivan rang it off the right post.
After Buffalo was leading in shots by as many as 16-8, Edmonton's strong second period saw them climb all the way back. Shots were 19-19 with five minutes to play in the middle frame.
With Jochen Hecht in the box, Paul Gaustad cross-checked Mike Comrie in front of the Sabres net which set the stage for an Oilers two-man advantage for nearly 90 seconds.
With time ticking down in the five-on-three, Visnovsky made a great play to keep the puck from being cleared out of the zone as it deflected off his shoulder. Hemsky then corralled it right at the blueline before feeding O'Sullivan at the right circle. O'Sullivan made no mistake, one-timing it past Miller to make it a 2-1 game.
Shots on goal in the second period were 14-5 for Edmonton but each team scored once, Sabres leading Edmonton 2-1.
Derek Roy nearly scored Buffalo's third of the night when he broke in on Khabibulin. He made a nice move to turn Staios inside out but the Oilers netminder got a left pad on his deke attempt. Staios upended Roy on the play as well, giving the Sabres a power play.
With time winding down in the third, Liam Reddox
was hammered from behind into the boards by Clarke MacArthur. Reddox was shaken up on the play and had to be helped off the ice.
MacArthur got a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct, giving Edmonton perhaps their final chance to tie the game with 6:15 to play.
The best chance on that man advantage came when O'Sullivan rang a shot off the left post from the left circle. Buffalo was able to kill off the remainder of the major penalty after that.
Jochen Hecht added an empty-net goal to clinch the outcome.
|Three star selections