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Mar 21, 2024 11:58 pm

5-goal third period launches Oilers past Sabres

Oilers, Sabres

The Edmonton Oilers broke away from a tie game in a big way, scoring five times in the third period to defeat the visiting Buffalo Sabres 8-3 on Thursday.

Connor McDavid had four assists, Mattias Ekholm had two goals and an assist, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Zach Hyman had two goals for the Oilers (42-21-4, 88 points), who are 9-1-2 in their past 12 games. Stuart Skinner made 26 saves.

JJ Peterka scored twice and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 30 saves for the Sabres (33-33-5, 71 points), who have lost three of their past four.

Peterka gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 1:38 of the first period. Alex Tuch, in a battle with Ekholm low in the left circle, sent a one-handed pass to Peterka, who was alone below the right hashmarks to snap a shot far side.

The Sabres appeared to go ahead by two at 12:37 when Rasmus Dahlin beat Skinner from the left circle, but Edmonton challenged for offside and the goal was overturned after video review.

Buffalo got its two-goal lead at 16:34. Victor Olofsson extended his stick to collect a Bowen Byram pass and spun around before snapping a shot from above the circle past the glove of a screened Skinner to make it 2-0.

Draisaitl connected on a late power play to cut it to 2-1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fed Draisaitl for a one-timer from the left circle. It squeaked through Luukkonen’s arm short side at 18:55.

Ekholm tied it 2-2 at 4:26 of the second period, scoring from the top of the slot on a 2-on-1 rush.

Peterka put the Sabres back in front 3-2 at 16:56 of the second. Connor Clifton intercepted an Oilers clearing attempt along the right wall and took the puck down low before sending it to Peterka in front, where he sent it under Skinner’s right pad.

Ekholm’s shot from the blue line deflected off Hyman in front and fluttered over Luukkonen to tie it 3-3 at 19:12.

Darnell Nurse gave Edmonton a 4-3 lead with a point shot through traffic at 4:38 of the third, and Ekholm made it 5-3 at 5:40 when he one-timed a backhand pass from Draisaitl from the slot.

Hyman scored from the left circle to push it to 6-3 at 15:18, Ryan McLeod extended it to 7-3 from the right face-off dot on a 2-on-1 rush at 16:58, and Connor Brown added one at 19:50.

–Field Level Media

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