Eichel's 4 points lead Sabres to 5-0 win over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Stuck in last place, the Buffalo Sabres are looking for positive signs. For now, their second winning streak of the season will do.
Jack Eichel had a goal and three assists, Ryan O’Reilly scored twice and Buffalo earned an easy 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for the Sabres (13-26-9), who won their second game in a row for just the second time this season. The other time was in late October.
“It’s big,” Eichel said. “We come in on a back-to-back against a team that is probably energized. They had a few days (off), we had an emotional win (over Calgary) last night, so we want to come and play a good road first and obviously to get a power-play goal early, to get yourself feeling good, it’s important.”
Robin Lehner made 33 saves for his second shutout.
“We know where we’re at and it’s not just one game that’s going to do anything at this point. We need to be consistent and all we can do is take it day by day, and this was another step for us,” Reinhart said. “Right now, we’re all on the same page and I think that was evident tonight.”
Cam Talbot started in net and stopped 18 of 22 shots in 31:32 of work before Al Montoya turned aside 11 of 12 in relief for the Oilers (21-24-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
It was the sixth time this season Edmonton has been shut out.
“Obviously, if we knew (what was wrong), we would fix it,” captain Connor McDavid said. “We would stop having performances like this. For some reason, we just don’t get up for games. It’s unacceptable on everyone’s part and it starts at the top.”
The first goal didn’t come until there were five minutes left in the first period. Reinhart tipped Rasmus Ristolainen’s power-play point shot that hit Talbot and trickled across the goal line before he could get back to fish it out.
The Sabres outshot Edmonton 15-8 in the opening period.
Buffalo benefited from a sloppy start to the second by Edmonton, making it 2-0 when O’Reilly scored his 12th of the season on a rebound 17 seconds into the period.
The Sabres padded their lead at 6:30 when a puck caromed in off Girgensons’ skate on a 2-on-1 break.
They made it 4-0 with another power-play goal 12 minutes into the second as Eichel rifled a shot into the top corner. Montoya came in to replace Talbot after the goal.
The Sabres added yet another power-play goal against Edmonton’s NHL-worst home penalty-killing unit before the second period was over, O’Reilly’s second of the game.
“Horrendous. The penalty-kill was horrendous,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “Guys didn’t do their jobs, were reacting slow and our power play did nothing to create any momentum.”
NOTES: The Sabres won both meetings between the teams this season, including 3-1 on Nov. 24 in Buffalo. … The Oilers were without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (ribs), while Buffalo didn’t have Zach Bogosian (lower body) or Josh Gorges (illness).
Sabres: At the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Oilers: Host the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
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