Game Recap 32.0: Edmonton Oilers vs Buffalo Sabres (12/8/2019) - Oilers Nation
|Oilers Nation 09 Dec 2019 at 00:16|
As I wrote in this morning’s GDB , the Oilers had the chance to take advantage of a Sabres team that was coming off a tough loss yesterday in Vancouver, and they needed to do a much better job of handling the opportunity than they did against Ottawa on Wednesday (*sigh*). With RNH and Kassian back in the lineup, I felt hopeful that those upgrades in the top six would make a sizeable impact on the way the team played, and that we’d see the impact on the scoreboard. With those guys out, we saw the holes in this team’s depth and I was hoping that neither of them had racked up too much rust because Gord knows we need them to be at their best. Would it make a difference tonight? No, not it would not, but I’m still happy they were back anyways.
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As always, the most important things the Oilers could for themselves was to have a strong start and try to push the pace before the Sabres had a chance to settle in and get their legs moving. While Edmonton did get the quick start they wanted and plenty of good looks on net, they were unable to capitalize on those opportunities and it proved costly. At the other end of the rink, the Sabres were tighter with their puck choices, manufactured turnovers, cashed in a pair of goals, and left the Oilers in a sizeable hole when the game was only 10 minutes old. The good news is that home side didn’t stop battling or working for offensive opportunities, and they were able to erase the deficit and claw their way back into a tie game. In fact, the Oilers completely dominated the second period and the fact that they were only able to pick up a pair of goals is almost a shame.
Heading into the third period with the score knotted at two, the plan had to be to keep building on the strong play they had going in the second. With wave after wave of pressure being thrown the Sabres way, the Oilers looked primed to complete the comeback and walk from this night with two points despite the early hole they put themselves in. Unfortunately, Ullmark was up for the challenge and shut the door, getting the game to overtime where anything is possible. In the bonus period, the Oilers gave up the puck and couldn’t get it back, which set the Sabres up with the puck possession they needed cap things off. In the end, the Oilers weren’t able to overcome the tough start and it was especially frustrating given how much better they were than the Sabres for big chunks of the night.