Laurent Brossoit stopped 28 of 30 shots but it wasn't enough as the Oilers fell 3-1 to Buffalo on Friday night
BUFFALO, NY -- Laurent Brossoit stopped 28 of 30 shots but it wasn't enough as the Oilers allowed a goal late in the second period and another two in the third en route to a 3-1 loss in Buffalo on Friday night.
The game was scoreless for the first 34 minutes until Buffalo's Jacob Josefson one-timed a blast from the left circle that beat Oilers starting goaltender Brossoit top corner.
Six minutes before the opening goal, the Sabres had one disallowed. At the end of a sustained period of pressure, Evander Kane jammed at the puck along the left post and the puck slipped out of the glove of Brossoit and over the line.
In the second period, the Oilers had 11 shots while Buffalo had 13. Shots were 11-4 Sabres in the first for a total of 24-15 for the home team over 40 minutes.
The Sabres came out flying to start the third period. Brossoit had to be sharp in denying Sam Reinhart moments into the final frame.
About 20 seconds later, the Sabres skated down once again and scored to make it 2-0 as Jack Eichel's shot from the right circle handcuffed the Oilers netminder and trickled in.
"I thought he made some really good saves," said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan of Brossoit. "He'd obviously like that second one back. Any goaltender in the League would like to have that one back but we can't focus on that. Overall his performance was strong, especially early in the game. They came after us with three power plays in the first period, that's six out of 20 minutes we were playing in our end. He played a good game but he would like to have that one back."
In an effort to spark some offence and also reward players who were playing well, McLellan put Michael Cammalleri up on the top line alongside Milan Lucic and Connor McDavid in the third.
"I thought he had some poise as he moved up the lineup," McLellan said of Cammalleri. "Disappointed in a few guys who were playing upwards -- even some of the guys who got minutes near the end -- they have to be better. I thought Mike had some poise. He showed he had some veteran patience with the puck and he made some nice plays."
One thing Cammalleri brought that McLellan wanted to see more of from his team was an increased pace of game.
"Our guys have the want to do it. Can we get it done at the pace we're executing at? We need to make things happen a lot faster in my opinion, defensively and offensively," he began.
"I think most of them are honest when it comes to that but working hard is one thing. Using that effort and executing and sustaining is another. You need all of those qualities to be successful."
The Sabres added an empty-net goal to seal the deal with 50 seconds to play in the game. Kyle Okposo chipped the puck the length of the ice and it rolled into the empty cage.
31 seconds later, the Oilers spoiled Lehner's shutout bid with 19 seconds to go. Yohann Auvitu's blast from the point beat the screened Sabres netminder.
Final shot count in the game was 31-30 for Buffalo after the Oilers outshot the Sabres 15-7 in the third.
Not a lot happened in the opening frame when it came to scoring chances. The first penalty of the game went to the Oilers after Eric Gryba received two minutes for slashing only 96 seconds into the contest but Buffalo wasn't able to accomplish much.
Edmonton registered its first shot on goal on a quick backhand from Connor McDavid that Sabres starting goaltender Robin Lehner had to be sharp on in laying down his left pad. Shots just past the five-minute mark were 2-1 Buffalo.
In the remainder of the opening period, the two teams traded power play chances with Pat Maroon going to the box for the visitors and Kyle Riscuolo for the home side.