Connect with us

Buffalo Sabres

Sabres Overcome Overturned Goal; Win 3-2 in Shootout



Edmonton Oilers Buffalo Sabres game recap

Owen Power scored the overtime winner in Buffalo on Saturday…until he didn’t. The Buffalo Sabres defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in a shootout after a long review determined the Sabres were offside on Power’s game-winner.

The review – from NHL headquarters in Toronto – was so long that both teams were in their respective locker rooms. The officials had to ask both teams to return to their respective benches before a faceoff and 20 seconds of gameplay sent the game to a shootout.

The Sabres started slow but progressively got better throughout the game. Ryan McLeod scored 29 seconds into the game on an impressive behind-the-back pass from Leon Draisaitl.

McLeod then set up a goal for Warren Foegele, as the two went on a 2-on-0 rush shorthanded after a Jeff Skinner turnover. Tage Thompson responded with a goal later on the same powerplay, keeping the Sabres within one of the Oilers.

A scoreless second period has been a recurring theme lately, and it happened again Saturday afternoon. It took until 11:39 remaining in the third period for the Sabres to tie it on a Jacob Bryson backhand shot.

Then came overtime, where the Sabres held the puck away from the Oilers through most of the extra time. Power’s false alarm occurred with two seconds remaining, sending fans to the exits.

It wasn’t until most of the crowd left their seats that the review was announced, and it was eventually determined the Sabres were offside entering the zone 18 seconds before the goal was scored.

Shootout goals by Thompson and Alex Tuch trumped Leon Draisaitl’s tally to grant the Sabres the win.

Impact Players

Dylan Cozens drew the toughest assignment in the NHL Saturday by being matched up against Connor McDavid. The first period didn’t go well as McDavid’s line had the Sabres hemmed in their zone initially. Cozens’ jump was very apparent throughout the game, however, and an early penalty kill saw Cozens outchance the entire Oilers’ powerplay by himself.

By the game’s end, Cozens, Eric Robinson, and Zach Benson had over 60% of the shot share and nearly 50% of the expected goals when on the ice, per Evolving-Hockey. Those are incredible numbers against the league’s top player.

The Difference

Bowen Byram has come into the Sabres’ lineup and completely revamped the look. Byram’s not going to impose his will physically in the defensive zone. Instead, his swift skating and smooth passing pushes the play into the offensive end, where Buffalo can do more damage.

Must Read: Sabres Trade Casey Mittelstadt; Acquire Bowen Byram

It’s early stages for the new Byram-Rasmus Dahlin pairing, but the offensive creativity is already apparent. “Watching those two players, Byram and Dahlin together, they did a lot of special things out there. A lot of subtleties,” head coach Don Granato said.

Those subtleties? “The way they move pucks up the ice and through the neutral zone and then put the defensive team on their heels in the offensive zone,” explained Granato. “When you have that, it’s an asset and you’ll use it.”

Granato even opted to start both players in overtime against McDavid and Draisaitl. Starting the two defensemen was not a result of the opposing players on the ice, however.

“It was no matchup. It’s something we’ll do.”

What’s Next

The Sabres don’t play again until Tuesday when they’ll host the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. The Red Wings are seven points ahead in the standings with two games in hand on the Sabres. They’ve lost four straight, with the Sabres facing them twice next week. If Detroit continues to stumble and Buffalo can sweep them, the playoff picture suddenly gets very interesting.