Having collected defeats versus Calgary and Vancouver, the Buffalo Sabres (3rd in Atlantic Division) will round of their Western Canada road trip with a trip to Edmonton, where the local Oilers (1st in Pacific) have just defeated Los Angeles…
Sabres Lose Second StraightThe current three-date Western Canada road-trek of the Buffalo Sabres (13-11-6) went 0-1-1 after the first two fixtures following a 6-5 overtime defeat to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena yesterday. The Sabres trailed to tie the game on three separate occasions, with Marcus Johansson (5 goals, 12 points this year) netting the 5-5 equalizer with 59 seconds remaining in regulation before the hosts grabbed the win at 3:21 of the extra session during power play. Buffalo has now dropped five of its past seven decisions (2-2-3) and is 5-8-3 when playing on the road.
Goalie Carter Hutton made 24 saves in Vancouver, taking his current performance status to 6-5-4 for the season with a 3.05 GAA and a .901 save percentage. He has recorded a 0-2-1 past tally versus Edmonton with a 4.44 GAA and a .847 save percentage, while Linus Ullmark (7-6-2 on the year with a 2.94 GAA and a .914 save percentage) has gone 0-1-0 in his past two appearances against the Oilers with a 4.79 GAA and a .818 save percentage. The Sabres are 14th in both most goals scored per game (3.07) and most conceded on average (3.07), 17th in power play (18.4%) and 2nd from the bottom in penalty kill (73.6%).
Oilers Edge Out Los AngelesThe Edmonton Oilers (18-10-3) regained the top spot of the Pacific Division after notching a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place on Friday. Leon Draisaitl (19 goals, 53 points this year) and Alex Chiasson (3 goals, 10 points) scored first-period power-play strikes before the Kings only managed to respond with a single marker in the final third, despite outshooting the Oilers 36-20. Edmonton has won two of its last three contests (2-1-0), but has still lost three of its past five (2-3-0) after going 3-1-0 in four games prior. The team is 8-4-2 when playing on own ice.
Goalie Mikko Koskinen stopped 35 shots versus L.A. to take his current performance tally to 11-3-2 for the season with a 2.53 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He is 2-0-0 versus Buffalo historically with a 3.74 GAA and a .905 save percentage, while Mike Smith (7-7-1 on the year with a 2.88 GAA and a .905 save percentage) has registered a 5-6-3 career total against the Sabres with a 2.82 GAA and a .913 save percentage. The Oilers, meanwhile, are 15th in most goals netted per game (3.00), 13th in least goals allowed on average (2.87), top of the league in power play (32.2%) and 2nd best in penalty kill (86.6%).
Buffalo (according to Covers.com)
- Underdog is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings between Sabres and Oilers.
- Sabres are 4-1 in their last 5 games following OT on the previous day.
Edmonton (according to Covers.com)
- Oilers are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a win.
- Oilers are 1-4 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.