NHL Hockey

Surging Sabres look to contain Oilers' explosive duo

The Buffalo Sabres will look for their seventh win in 10 games when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

The Sabres ended a two-game slide with a 5-3 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Oilers ended a two-game winning streak by giving up a season-high-tying seven goals in a 7-5 loss at Winnipeg that day.

Buffalo's strong play comes after dropping four straight games, including one in a shootout. But against the three-time defending Eastern Conference champion Lightning, the Sabres overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring four straight goals.

Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, while Vinnie Hinostroza, Tyson Jost and Jack Quinn also scored. Eric Comrie (8-8-0, 3.56 goals-against average) made 33 saves to win his fourth straight start.

Buffalo is 6-3-0 in its past nine games to move to within three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second -- and final -- wild card in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

"We need the wins right now, so it's important," Comrie said. "It feels good. The team's giving me a lot of goal support. I feel like I'm getting back to the spot where I felt at the start of the year where our team was fully healthy."

Thompson has seven goals and six assists in his past nine games, giving him a team-high 42 goals, which are third-most in the league, and 82 points. His 40 assists rank second behind defenseman Rasmus Dahlin's 49. Dahlin, who has 14 goals, is second on the team with 63 points, one ahead of Skinner, who has 26 goals and 36 assists. He also has six goals and six assists in his past nine games.

The Oilers wasted a hat trick by Leon Draisaitl against the Jets, who scored three of the game's final four goals after Draisaitl tied the game at four apiece at the 9:18 mark of the second period.

"We had a bunch of looks," Draisaitl said. "Their goalie made the right saves at the right time. We had our chances, but you obviously don't want to chase the sixth or seventh goal. Something to clean up."

Mattias Janmark had a short-handed goal for the Oilers, who also got a goal from Nick Bjugstad and three assists from Evan Bouchard. Jack Campbell (17-9-4, 3.57 GAA) made 31 saves.

"You don't win many games when you give up six goals," Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said, alluding to the Jets' goal that was scored into an empty net. "Tonight, we didn't do a good enough job of that. We scored enough to win, but we didn't defend well enough to win."

Captain Connor McDavid, who has 10 goals and 10 assists in his past seven games, tops the league in goals (52), assists (70) and points (122). Draisaitl is fourth in the league with 41 goals and 55 assists, and second in points (96).

Draisaitl has scored a league-leading 26 power-play goals, well ahead of runner-up Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers with 19.

In the teams' previous meeting in Edmonton on Oct. 18, Dahlin, Thompson, Alex Tuch and J.J. Peterka scored for Buffalo, which got 46 saves from Comrie in a 4-2 win.

Darnell Nurse and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for Edmonton.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 5, 2023

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