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game recap

McDavid outduels Eichel in Oilers' OT win

No. 1 pick in 2015 scores twice to beat Sabres

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

McDavid's overtime winner

EDM@BUF: McDavid's second goal of night wins it in OT

3/1/16: Connor McDavid backhands a shot past Robin Lehner in overtime for his second goal of the night, winning the game for the Oilers

  • 01:43 •

BUFFALO -- In the first game between Edmonton Oilers rookie Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel, it was McDavid who stole the show.

McDavid scored two goals, including the game-winner with 1:12 left in overtime, to help the Oilers to a 2-1 win at First Niagara Center on Tuesday.

McDavid's second goal came on a rush up the right wing side in which he put a backhand shot past Sabres goalie Robin Lehner for his 12th goal of the season.

"I'm excited," McDavid said. "Any time you can score an overtime goal, it feels good. To do it in front of friends and family, it feels even better."

McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, scored moments after Sabres rookie Jack Eichel, the No. 2 selection, rushed against Oilers goalie Cam Talbot and put a spinning backhand shot wide. McDavid picked up the puck following that shot and took it the rest of the way for the goal.

Video: EDM@BUF: McDavid beats Lehner in the opening minute

"He's a big time player, he scores big time goals," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "I think it's a reflection on him when he downplays it. What's important to Connor is the team. He knows he is an important part and going to be an important part moving forward. But he puts the team in front of himself all the time. To have those qualities as a young superstar is exceptional. A lot of them don't get that at an early age and have to learn that as they go. He's got that right now and we are awfully lucky to have him."

This was the first time McDavid and Eichel faced each other in the NHL; McDavid missed the first game between the Oilers and Sabres on Dec. 6, a 4-2 Oilers win, because of a fractured clavicle. Eichel scored a goal in that game and McDavid doubled him up on Tuesday.

"I thought [Eichel] and [McDavid] were probably the two best players on the ice tonight," McLellan said. "That's a real positive both for Buffalo and their future and ours in Edmonton and the League. … They're fun players to watch and they didn't disappoint tonight by any means."

Edmonton (24-34-7) has won back-to-back games. Buffalo (25-31-8) has lost two straight and four of its past five.

"We didn't play well at all," Eichel said. "It started with the way we came out. We just didn't do a lot of good things as a team.

Video: EDM@BUF: O'Reilly nets his first goal as a Sabre

Sabres forward Cal O'Reilly made it 1-1 with 10:54 left in the third period. Sam Reinhart made a spinning backhanded pass across to O'Reilly, who tapped it past Talbot for his first goal of the season and first since Dec. 21, 2011 as a member of the Arizona Coyotes.

"It was a good feeling, short-lived here, obviously, not getting the win," O'Reilly said. "But it was nice to contribute a little bit."

O'Reilly was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League earlier Tuesday.

McDavid gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead 22 seconds into the game when he got in behind Sabres defensemen Jake McCabe and Zach Bogosian and received a pass from Jordan Eberle and put a backhand shot past Lehner.

"I think good players are just able to rise to the occasion," Eberle said. "Obviously scoring in your first shift and then ending it … it's a [heck] of a storybook ending. For him, I think he puts a lot of pressure on himself to fulfill your guys' needs, the media. I know there was a lot of attention coming into this game and obviously the matchup and what not and for him at such an age to change the momentum and rise to the occasion, it's pretty impressive."

Video: EDM@BUF: Talbot denies Kane's chance

McDavid's goal set the tone for the game in the wrong way for Buffalo.

"I didn't like our team right from the start of the game," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "I didn't like how prepared we were to start the game, play the game. We turn the puck over, gave them opportunities. ... We weren't good in the game and it showed in the chances they had."

Andrej Sekera nearly gave the Oilers a 2-0 lead with 0.4 seconds left in the second period. Sekera put a rebound of an Adam Cracknell shot past Lehner, but Bylsma challenged the call on the ice to review whether the Oilers were offside on the goal.

Replays concluded that Edmonton forward Anton Lander was offside prior to the goal.

Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe left the game because of an upper-body injury with 3:05 left after a collision with Oilers forward Nail Yakupov. Bylsma said McCabe "felt woozy" but did not have an update on his condition.

Video: McDavid, Oilers knock off Sabres, 2-1, in OT

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