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The Day After 67.0: Oilers get revenge against Sabres with commanding comeback victory

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Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
3 months ago
Two weeks ago, the Edmonton Oilers rolled into Buffalo and lost a game they should have won.
Edmonton got out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to first-period goals from Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele but the Oilers weren’t able to close the door. The Sabres got on the board late in the first and tied the game in the third period before winning in the shootout.
The roles were reversed in the second meeting between the two teams. John-Jason Peterka and Victor Olofsson scored to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead but Leon Draisaitl put the Oilers on the board before the end of the first frame. The score was knotted at 3-3 heading into the third period and then the home side exploded with five goals to earn a commanding 8-3 victory.
This time, the Oilers were the team with the slow start and the strong finish. But rather than crawling back slowly and playing for an opportunity at overtime, the Oilers found another gear and opened the floodgates. The eight goals they scored against Buffalo matched a season-high for a single game this season, as they beat the Anaheim Ducks 8-2 in November and the Detroit Red Wings 8-4 in February.
The win puts the Oilers at 42-21-4 on the season. They’re eight points back of the Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Pacific Division with three games in hand and they’re five points up on the L.A. Kings with two fewer games played.

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What they said…

Connor McDavid on how the Oilers need to find another level to climb the standings…
“We’re finding ways to get win. I would still like to see a little bit more control of games. I still think we’re finding our game. Obviously, it’s nice that we’re winning and producing wins, but I still think that there’s more there. There’s more to be had. There’s more urgency, which is a good thing. It’s that time of year when we need to ramp up and get ready to go. We’re still playing for positioning and all that, so still lots to be playing for.”
Mattias Ekholm on the Oilers turning things around after the first period…  
“We all know now it’s about to get to crunch time and we can’t lean into games and just sit there and wait. I just didn’t like the first and we all realized that. I think we have a pretty mature team in here and everybody understands when we play good and bad, but sometimes it needs to be said.”
“When you get that lead, which was huge, they’re going to start cheating a little bit and it opens up the game. We scored on a couple of rushes, so maybe it got out of hand more than it should have or would have, but it’s kudos to us.”
Zach Hyman on the Oilers figuring out how to win hockey games… 
“What do we have, 15 games left? That’s where you really ramp up your game and you figure out how you’re going to win. And I think we have a really good sense of what our identity is and how we’re going to win.”
Sabres forward Tage Thompson on Buffalo blowing an early 2-0 lead…
“I don’t really know what to say about that one, it’s obviously a frustrating loss. I thought our first and second were good hockey, you go into the third a tie game, chance to win an important hockey game and they get a couple goals and we’re chasing from behind They get another one and then it feels out of reach, now it’s a lot of frustration I think we let creep into our game there at the end.”

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