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game recap

Rasmus Ristolainen lifts Sabres past Oilers in OT

Defenseman assists on late tying goal before getting game-winner

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Rasmus Ristolainen scored a power-play goal 57 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

With Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson serving a third-period holding penalty, Ristolainen's first goal of the season came when he received a pass from Ryan O'Reilly and took a slap shot that got past goalie Cam Talbot.

"There's been some really good chances, but you can't get frustrated and try to keep it simple and get pucks to the net," Ristolainen said. "Someday it's going to go in, and tonight was the time."

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Sabres highlights

 

Ristolainen had an assist when Sabres forward Evander Kane tied it 3-3 with 29 seconds left in the third period and goalie Anders Nilsson pulled for an extra attacker. Kane scored on a rebound of an O'Reilly shot that went off the post.

"We have six guys obviously battling hard," Kane said. "We got a good puck to the net and bounce, and I was able to put it away."

The Sabres (10-10-6) ended a two-game losing streak. The Oilers (14-10-4) have lost two straight.

Video: EDM@BUF: Kane ties the game with 28 seconds left

Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers a 3-2 lead in the third period after they trailed 2-0 in the first. Draisaitl set up in the slot and deflected a Connor McDavid shot past Nilsson for his 11th goal of the season at 9:59. Draisaitl has eight goals and six assists in the past 12 games.

"They were on their toes, they played their system well, we didn't execute," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "We found some pace in the second period, we made a few adjustments to the lines and got a little speed on the wings, which we needed. But the pace of the game, they dictated early, and then I thought the last two we performed like we should've in the first. But those things happen."

Kane and Brian Gionta scored 3:08 apart in the first period to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead (10:38, 13:46), but Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic scored 1:45 apart in the second to make it 2-2 (10:31, 12:16).

McDavid and Drake Caggiula each had two assists. McDavid has an NHL-best 25 assists and extended his scoring lead to 36 points, seven ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.

"We did a really good job taking that game over after the first," McDavid said. "Started slow, battled back, had the lead and weren't really giving up much, especially in the third period. Give them credit, they found a way to get one, get it to overtime, and their power play bared down."

Video: EDM@BUF: Kane snaps PPG to open the scoring

 

Goal of the game

Ristolainen's slap shot hit the post and went in. He had not scored since March 3, 2016, a span of 42 games. It was his second in 63 games.

Video: EDM@BUF: Ristolainen roofs blistering shot for OT win

 

Save of the game

Tied 2-2 4:50 into the third period, Nilsson made a save against McDavid on a shorthanded breakaway.

Video: EDM@BUF: Nilsson denies McDavid on the breakaway

 

Highlight of the game

McDavid's pass to Lucic through the Sabres defense for the goal that made it 2-2 was the first of his two assists.

Video: EDM@BUF: Lucic buries wrister on feed from McDavid

 

Unsung moment of the game

After the Oilers scored twice in the second period, they were ending a power play with a little more than 2:00 left when Nilsson made two saves against Jordan Eberle that kept the game tied.

Video: EDM@BUF: Nilsson stones Eberle twice with shoulder

 

They said it

"[Ristolainen's] carrying the load for us back there, and with continued injuries, how much he's playing is truly significant, and he's had some long shifts, he's had some tough shifts, he's had some tough battles. It got a lot lighter when he scored that goal." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma

 

"We just weren't ready to go. I think we were flat. They're battling some injuries, especially on the back end, and maybe we're looking at that too much. We need to start better." -- Oilers captain Connor McDavid

 

"We're going to look at the end, and obviously that's disappointing, but we were very sluggish and slow and behind the eight ball, obviously, in the first period. So the first two goals bother me more than the last two. Actually, the penalty at the end of the game was a senseless one; it's one that we have to avoid. There's nothing really dangerous going on there. But the 6-on-5 goal, that happens sometimes. I thought we played it fairly well. We put a rebound in off the post, but for me the issue is the first two." -- Oilers coach Todd McLellan

 

Need to know

The Sabres have defeated the Oilers twice in a season for the first time since going 2-1-0 in the season series in 1985-86. … Ristolainen has seven points in the past five games and played a season-high 29:58. … O'Reilly has six points in the past five games.

 

What's next

Oilers: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, SNOL, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Ristolainen nets OT winner to complete comeback win

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