EDMONTON, AB – The Edmonton Oilers scored six unanswered goals – including five in the final period – to handily defeat the Buffalo Sabres 8-3 at Rogers Place on Thursday night despite the visitors keeping it close over the first 40 minutes.

JJ Peterka had two goals for the Sabres to give them two separate leads, but his German counterpart Leon Draisaitl was one of six different Oilers who recorded multiple points in the victory that was Edmonton's ninth win in their last 12 games (9-1-2).

"We're finding ways to get wins," McDavid said. "I would still like to see a little bit more control of games. I still think we're finding our game. Obviously, it's nice that we're winning and producing wins, but I still think that there's more there. There's more to be had. There's more urgency, which is a good thing. It's that time of year when we need to ramp up and get ready to go."

"We're still playing for positioning and all that, so still lots to be playing for."

Mattias Ekholm was a force offensively with two goals and an assist, making it five points in his last two games, while Connor McDavid contributed four helpers for his sixth game of the season with four or more points.

Troy Stecher recorded his first Oilers point with an assist, and Zach Hyman added two more goals to grow his team-leading total to 48. Hyman will have the opportunity to reach the 50-goal mark on Saturday night when the Oilers face the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Hockey Night in Canada.

"Obviously it would be special, but I'm not focused on it," Hyman said. "I'm sure I'll be asked about it a lot tomorrow and on Saturday. But really, I just want to win there. I don't think I've won there since I've been here, so it would be great to go in there and win."

The Oilers improve to 9-1-2 in their last 12 with an 8-3 victory


The Sabres struck first when Alex Tuch flicked the puck past Evan Bouchard and onto the tape of JJ Peterka to bury an open chance in front of Stuart Skinner only 1:38 after the opening puck drop.

Buffalo had a goal taken back minutes before they eventually found their second goal, with Victor Olofsson spinning and firing an effort into the top corner to make it 2-0 Sabres with 3:26 left in the frame until a late Oilers power play got the hosts on the scoresheet before the intermission.

With German National Team head coach Harold Kreis in attendance at Rogers Place to catch a glimpse of Leon Draisaitl and JJ Peterka in NHL action, Draisaitl followed up his countryman's opening tally with a power-play goal of his own, turning around and sneaking his 35th goal of the season inside the left post on Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who's been the NHL's best netminder since Jan. 1 with a 1.92 GAA and .930SV%.

Paige & Cam analyze Thursday's 8-3 Oilers win over the Sabres


Ekholm continued his steady offensive play in recent games by helping the Oilers draw back level twice in the second period off a terrific showing of skill on his sixth goal of the year and the set-up on Hyman's 47th tally of the season.

"He was great," McDavid said. "I thought he was great the other night too. He's been great for us ever since he's been here, and especially this run of play his game's even gone up a little bit."

The Swede almost looked like a forward at times with how much he was jumping up into the rush, and he had the hands to show for it when he made it 2-2 less than five minutes into the middle frame.

"Last week, I was sick that one game and it made me actually get five days off, which with the schedule we've had is kind of unheard of," Ekholm said. "So my legs feel really good and I feel like I'm reading the plays well right now. Hopefully, it won't be at the cost of defence or goals against, but as long as we keep playing a sound game and keeping it forward, there's no reason why it will."

Mattias addresses the media following Thursday's 8-3 victory

Ekholm had Evander Kane with him on a two-on-one four minutes into the period, but the blueliner elected to look off the winger before dragging the puck around the stick of Byram and firing his shot top shelf on Luukkonen that surprised the netminder, leaving him paralyzed in stunned belief inside the blue paint.

Even Ekholm said he was surprised that the opportunity opened up for him.

"I got on a two-on-one and with Kaner and [the pass] kind of got taken away. So I figured I'd try to find a hole and got it through the d-man, and the goalie was surprised."

Peterka restored Buffalo's one-goal lead with his second of the game until Ekholm was once again pivotal in erasing it after he put a puck on goal from the blueline in the last minute of the period that was redirected by Hyman over the unaware Luukkonen for his 47th goal of the season.

"We all know now it's about to get to crunch time and we can't lean into games and just sit there and wait," Ekholm said of the intermission team talk. "I just didn't like the first and we all realized that. I think we have a pretty mature team in here and everybody understands when we play good and bad, but sometimes it needs to be said."

Kris speaks to the media following Thursday's 8-3 victory


The Oilers began to take over in the first five minutes of the final frame when Troy Stecher, who was filling in for Vincent Desharnais alongside Darnell Nurse for the second straight game, picked up his first Oilers point with the assist on his d-partner's ninth tally of the season.

"I thought even though the second was still a pretty decently even period, I liked our intensity. I liked our checking better," Ekholm said. "And then obviously in the third, we took over."

Nurse took a quick pass along the blueline from Stecher and fired a low effort along the ice that slid through traffic and under Luukkonen for a 4-3 Oilers lead that would only grow as the game reached its ultimate conclusion.

"When you get that lead, which was huge, they're going to start cheating a little bit and it opens up the game," Ekholm added. "We scored on a couple of rushes, so maybe it got out of hand more than it should have or would have, but it's kudos to us."

Zach addresses the media after scoring his 47th & 48th vs. Buffalo

Ekholm continued an exceptional night when he mashed a monstrous slap shot top shelf past Luukkonen on the sweet set-up from Draisaitl only 58 seconds later to lift the Oilers into a two-goal lead.

"I was served on a golden platter there, right? I mean, can't ask for more than that," Ekholm said. "So obviously, the shot was good as well, but the set-up was unbelievable."

Draisaitl and McDavid picked up the assists on the play, and the Dynamic Duo would pick up the helpers on Hyman's 48th of the season to set off three goals in the final five minutes for Edmonton to well and truly put the game out of reach.

"One goes off the glove and goes in, and then the other one Connor just puts it perfectly on my stick and I was able to kind of step into it," Hyman said. "But it's been a fun year, so we've got a lot of time left and a lot of time for this group. We're really excited about the group."

Ryan McLeod added an unassisted marker on a two-on-one with Evander Kane for his 12th goal of the year before Connor Brown picked up his second Oilers goal with a tap-in off a rebound from Sam Carrick's shot with nine minutes remaining.

Connor chats with the media after Thursday's win over Buffalo