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Oilers upend Sabres 3-2

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Welcome once again into the Ted Darling Memorial Press Box, high atop ice level at First Niagara Center. When the NHL went back to every team in the league playing both home and away, matchups like tonight are bound to happen at least twice a year. The 30th place Buffalo Sabres host the 29th place Edmonton Oilers. 

Edmonton is four points better than the blue and gold, but have played three more games than Buffalo. Sabres head coach Ted Nolan is changing up the lineup after Saturday afternoon's embarassing 7-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Drew Stafford is back from a stint on the injured reserve list, and Linus Omark will dress tonight as well. To find out the team's scratches, and more from the morning skate, head over to Paul Hamilton's pregame primer here.

Be sure to comment tonight in the thread below. I will add my two cents in between the scoring plays as well. Also, feel free to give myself and Brian Koziol a follow on Twitter: @PatWGR and @BrianWGR.

First Period

19:28 - OILERS GOAL. Wow, that was fast! Jeff Petry split the Buffalo defense, and Jhonas Enroth did not play the puck all that well, and Buffalo is behind just over thirty seconds in. That was a bruuuuuutal goal. 1-0 EDM.

15:38 - Slow start for the blue and gold, and Ilya Bryzgalov has not been tested yet. The 4-2 shot margin in Buffalo's favor is misleading. 

14:19 - Welcome back, Drew Stafford. The forward takes an interference penalty as he threw a pick in thje left wing corner by the Edmonton net. The Oilers go to the power play.

11:56 - SABRES GOAL. Some good work by the blue and gold's power play unit nets the equalizer. Steve Ott crashed the net and was able to get the puck underneath Ilya Bryzgalov and just across the goal line before an Edmonton defenser swiped the puck back over the line. A video review by the war room confirmed the goal call on the ice. 1-1 tie.

9:49 - Ott nearly just had his second goal of the game, but he hit the elbow joint on the left wing side of the net. Bryzgalov does not look sharp tonight, and that puck beat him. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the puck drew iron.

5:32 - Just with the naked eye the Sabres have held the puck much more than Edmonton over the last 8 to 10 minutes, but have not been able to net the go-ahead goal. There have been quality chances, but just not enough of them yet.

4:22 - Christian Ehrhoff has gone to the box for tripping. This would be a good time for the Oilers to re-establish their offensive play in theis period which has been lacking for quite some time.

:55.8 - SABRES GOAL. It indeed is a welcome back to Drew Stafford as the forward scores shorthanded. Stafford shook off a 2-on-1 chance with Andrew Ference sliding in front to cut off the pass, and he just wires a shot into the top corner of the net. 2-1 BUF.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 8:04 - Steve Ott (9) PPG (Tyler Myers, Cody Hodgson). 19:04 - Drew Stafford (8) SHG (Zemgus Girgensons, Mike Weber)
EDM: 0:32 - Jeff Petry (4) (Nail Yakupov, David Perron)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 5:41 - Drew Stafford (2 min., interference). 15:24 - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., tripping). 18:10 - Steve Ott (2 min., tripping)
EDM: 6:56 - Taylor Hall (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)                                                                          

Shots on Goal

BUF - 13, EDM - 12

Second Period

18:35 - The two Tylers nearly combined to give Buffalo a two-goal lead. The Sabres are buzzing on the first shift of the period thanks to some good footwork by Tyler Ennis, and his counterpart Tyler Myers just missed a sliding puck across the crease that would have for sure been a goal. If the team keeps up this energy it is just a matter of time before it is 3-1.

12:37 - This has turned out to be a pretty even period. I think Buffalo has had the better of the chances overall, but it is not far and away Buffalo that is dominating.

8:50 - This is a veeeeeeeery boring period. Shots are 10-6, Buffalo.

8:07 - Jordan Eberle is in the penalty box for the Oilers. Now would be a good time for Buffalo to ramp up the energy level in this stanza.

3:15 - OILERS GOAL. That is another goal that I think Jhonas Enroth is going to want back. The Sabres defense was in position, but Justin Schultz just beats the Buffalo netminder over the right shoulder and ties the game. Maybe that is a goal scorer's goal, but I want my goalie to make the save. 2-2 tie.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
EDM: 16:45 - Justin Schultz (8) (David Perron, Andrew Ference)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 3:30 - Tyler Myers (2 min., interference). 14:50 - Steve Ott (2 min., roughing)
EDM: 2:23 - Matt Hendricks (2 min., goaltender interference). 7:51 - Ales Hemsky (2 min., tripping). 11:22 - Jordan Eberle (2 min., hooking). 14:50 - Nail Yakupov (2 min., interference). 17:50 - Andrew Ference (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 17 (30), EDM - 11 (23)

Third Period

19:03 - OILERS GOAL. What is it with Edmonton and scoring in the first minute of a period? Matt Hendricks is able to break in past Buffalo while the Oilers are shorthanded, and he beats Enroth with a nice move and shot. Not a good start with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the box. 3-2 EDM.

13:58 - Edmonton has gained some visible momentum from their go-ahead goal at the start of this period. They have not done much with it, but I do not think Buffalo has stepped up to challenge the Oilers much.

12:31 - INJURY UPDATE: Sabres PR has just informed us that Tyler Myers is out for the remainder of the game with a lower body injury.

10:25 - A quick whistle has saved this game from being tied. Referee Gord Dwyer blew his whistle quickly as Bryzgalov went to cover the puck with a Sabre around the crease. The fans are not happy here, and I do not blame them. It was a bad call by the officials, but Buffalo has 10:25 to attone for it.

5:12 - The Sabres have put 40 shots on goal tonight. Some of them have been of good quality, but I am left feeling like a majority of them were low percentage shots that just pad stats.

3:05 - The shot selection and quality has been better the last few minutes. Buffalo is up to 12 for the period, with Edmonton registering just 5.

:36.0 - Enroth is on the bench when Ted Nolan calls his timeout. A face-off win is key for Buffalo in the offensive zone.

End of Game

Edmonton 3, Buffalo 2

Goal Summary

BUF: none
EDM: 0:57 - Matt Hendricks (4) SHG (Boyd Gordon, Martin Marincin)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 2:28 - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., interference)
EDM: 0:43 - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2 min., hooking)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 13 (44), EDM - 5 (28)

Final Thoughts

Steve Ott said it perfectly in the locker room after the game when he said that (paraphrasing) when a team gets 44 shots on goal in the game, you put yourself in a good position to win the game. It looked like the Sabres had the game-tying goal midway through the third, but a very bad call by the referee negated the score. Buffalo had a couple of good scoring chances over the final 10:25 of the game, but could not get that evasive goal. Was it a bad call? Absolutely. Could the Sabres have overcome it and scored again? Good teams do. We know that Buffalo is not a very good team this year, they are in lst place in the league for a reason. But if (the collective) we want better, we have to hold the team to the same standard as teams like Chicago and Pittsburgh. Good teams overcome those blown calls. Buffalo needs to get into a position again where they can shrug those off and score again. Until then, we wait. Next up for the Sabres is a home date with the Penguins on Wednesday night. The puck drops around 7:45 on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starts at 6:30.

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