Sabres beat Oilers in overtime
Jack Eichel had another good night for the Buffalo Sabres as he brought up a career high of 13 consecutive point-scoring games, providing the crucial assist on an overtime winner for Colin Miller as the Sabres edged out the Edmonton Oilers in a Sunday night thriller.
The Oilers, who are top of the NHL Pacific Division, went into the game as favourites with sports betting companies, but they were ultimately undone in the extra period by Miller, who was scoring his first goal of the season, a landmark that he said he was pleased to finally achieve:
“It feels good, but it’s one goal, and hopefully they come in bunches. They haven’t come for a while, so hopefully there are more to come.”
For Buffalo, Linus Ullmark also had a good game, pulling off 26 saves to help his team bounce back from a 6-5 loss in overtime against the Vancouver Canucks the day before and to conclude their road trip through Western Canada with a solid 1-1-1 record that leaves them third in the Atlantic Division.
It was also an important win for the Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger, who was winning for the first time in Edmonton after he was fired from his job with the Oilers in 2013.
Edmonton showed plenty of resilience in coming back from a couple of goals down, with Joakim Nygård registering a goal and an assist, Darnell Nurse contributing two assists, and Mike Smith making 19 saves.
However, they ultimately fell to their third defeat in five, though they remain in a strong position in their division, level on points with the Coyotes in second but five points clear of the third team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Winger Kyle Okposo gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead early in the first period, tipping in a shot by Marco Scandella, and the visitors were 2-0 up just after halfway through the period, thanks to a rebound score by Johan Larsson, following a good save from Smith.
However, Edmonton fought back to make it 2-2, first scoring on a breakaway through Riley Sheahan in the middle of the second period, and then tying the game with a power play goal from Nygård at 15:56 in the second, when he was on hand to tap home a shot by Nurse.
Ultimately, though, it was the visitors who prevailed, and the Oilers will have to regroup and hope to get back on the winning trail against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Words: Stijn Janssen