Recap: Sabres Late Comeback Stuns Oilers

We didn’t get the controversial opening draw photo opportunity that was missed last time Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid met. Neither was part of the starting lineup on this night. However, after we got past that a hockey game was played. Although the hype in this one wasn’t as big as March when McDavid and Eichel met for the first time, the story line was of course again there for this game.

This one looked like just another game we’ve seen all season long from Buffalo. They looked to be headed towards their third straight loss and again seemed to struggle scoring more than two goals. Things then took a big turn in the final 1:26 of game action.

First Period

Very early on McDavid made his presence felt by showing off his speed to get around the Sabres defense to create two scoring opportunities. Other than that the play in the first period belonged to the Sabres. They did a good job for the controlling the pace of the game making the Oilers play defense. They always said a good offense is the best defense.

Evander Kane opened the scoring on the power play on a Zack Kassian hooking call with his second of the season. The Sabres weren’t done yet as Brian Gionta put his sixth of the season on the board off a nice pass from Marcus Foligno to put the home team up two goals after one.

Second Period

In the second period, the Oilers returned the favor and took the play to the Sabres. After seemingly struggling in the first period the Sabres only managed to throw five shots towards Cam Talbot in the second frame allowing him to settle in.

The Oilers would get on the board on the power play with Jordan Eberle’s eighth of the season. Less than two minutes later old Sabres nemesis Milan Lucic tied the game on a soft goal by Anders Nilsson under the pad. McDavid snapped his two-game scoreless streak with an assist on the Lucic goal. He’s never gone three games thus far in his short career without registering a point.

Buffalo seemed to lose that jump in their stride they had in the first period. They got away from what was working with a strong forecheck and allowed the Oilers to set the pace of the game.

Third Period

Eichel used his speed to give the Sabres an early power play opportunity. McDavid countered Eichel’s nice play with a shorthanded breakaway but was foiled by Nilsson. Buffalo had their feet moving again early in the first like they did back in the first.

The Oilers would, however, end up taking the lead with another power play goal by Leon Draisaitl, his 11th of the season. Draisaitl would tip a McDavid shot from the top of the faceoff circle as the 19-year old picked up his second point of the game.

Playing the night before seemed to catch up to the Sabres as the third period wore on. The Oilers continued to bring pressure in the offensive zone and they never seemed to be able to put any significant pressure on Talbot in the final minutes.

Buffalo would pull Nilsson in the final minute as they looked for one more chance to tie things up. Well, Kane comes through for the Sabres and notched the equaliser with 29 seconds remaining for his third of the season and second of the game. Good news for the Sabres as Kane seems to have found his scoring touch over the last few games.


It won’t show up on the scoresheet, but Foligno drew a penalty late in the third period only seconds after the Sabres tied the game. The penalty carried over into overtime and only 57 seconds into the extra session Rasmus Ristolainen sent the home crowd home happy with a bullet shot from the point for his first of the season. That would end up being his third point of the game while playing close to 30 minutes for the second straight night.

The Sabres pulled out two big points when they were on verge of losing their third straight and real questions starting to begin about the direction of the club. Now they can take a few days to recover and perhaps get a few of their players back on the blue line before the Washington Capitals visit on Friday night.


Scoring Summary


BUF-Evander Kane PPG (2) assisted by Jake McCabe and Matt Moulson

BUF- Brian Gionta (6) assisted by Marcus Foligno and Rasmus Ristolainen


EDM-Jordan Eberle PPG (8) assisted by Drake Caggiula and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

EDM-Milan Lucic (8) assisted by Connor McDavid and Drake Caggiula


EDM-Leon Draisaitl PPG (11) assisted by Connor McDavid and Andrej Sekera

BUF-Evander Kane (3) assisted by Ryan O’Reilly and Rasmus Ristolainen


BUF-Rasmus Ristolainen (1) assisted by Ryan O’Reilly and Jack Eichel

THW Three Stars

First: Rasmus Ristolainen (GWG, 2 assists)

Second: Evander Kane (2 goals)

Third: Connor McDavid (2 assists)