I picked up last minute tickets tonight and headed down to KeyBank Center with the best player in the world, Connor McDavid, and his Oilers coming to town to face the Sabres, resulting in a disappointing 3-2 loss.
7:21 into the game, the best player in the world opened the scoring with Connor McDavid capitalizing on poor defensive play by the Sabres to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. We played Whitney a few minutes later though, as Jeff Skinner capitalized with a beautiful power play goal with 10:15 left in the first to tie it up with Zach Hyman in the box. Solid period, fun 20 minutes with both teams getting a ton of chances, with the Sabres getting outshot 21-15.
The Sabres didn’t play any defense whatsoever and 5:32 into the second Ryan Nugent-Hopkins off a beautiful pass from Draisaitl to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead. That didn’t take much time for a replay to determine it was way offsides, taking the goal off the board. Edmonton took that 2-1 lead back though with 1:15 left in the second on a Derek Ryan goal, with four Sabres defenseman clumped up in front of the net. Pretty pathetic goal to give up. Not a terrible period for the Sabres generating plenty of chances and outshooting the Oilers 13-6 but we went into intermission down a goal.
Dylan Cozens quickly made it a tied game, just 41 seconds into the third period with only Leon Draisaitl back to play defense. 3:23 into the period though, the fastest skater on Earth gave the Oilers the lead back. Insane how fucking fast this kid is. That turned out to be the game winner as we went on to lose 3-2.
Final: Sabres 2, Oilers 3
Disappointing game. We played relatively well tonight. We outshot the Oilers 39-37 and generated a lot of decent looks, actually outplaying them slightly by an expected goal rate of 3.39-3.16, especially during the second period but it just wasn’t enough to win. The zone entries were lousy and especially in the third period we just couldn’t possess the puck long enough to turn it into something. Both Anderson and Skinner were very good in both nets and it turned into much more of a grind of a game than the high scoring affair I expected it to be.
Back in action again tomorrow night on Long Island to face the Isles.
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