Matt Hendricks’ shorthanded goal less than a minute into the 3rd period turned out to be the game-winner as the Oilers edged the Sabres 3-2 Monday night at the First Niagara Center.
It was a back and forth battle between two teams at the bottom of the standings, but the Oilers were able to get to Jhonas Enroth, and then hold the lead for the rest of the night.
The Sabres came close to scoring and continued to apply pressure in the offensive zone, but Bryzgalov stood tall. Buffalo did get one by him, but after review, it was ruled that the whistle had blown, wiping out what would have been the game-tying goal.
Buffalo pulled Enroth for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining, but time eventually ran out and the Sabres six points back of the 29th placed Oilers.
Jeff Petry got the scoring started just 32 seconds into the game with his 4th goal of the season, but the Sabres would respond. Steve Ott’s power play goal eight minutes into the period knotted it at one, and Drew Stafford put the Sabres in front late in the opening period with a shorthanded goal.
Justin Schultz, who had the other Oilers’ goal, tied the game at two late in the second period. The loss gave Buffalo its’ 7th consecutive defeat on home ice, where they haven’t won in nearly a month.
Ilya Bryzgalov came into the game with a 5-1 record against the Sabres, and he improved on that by stopping 42 of the 44 shots he faced. At the other end, Jhonas Enroth suffered the loss, allowing three goals on 28 shots. Enroth has struggled as of late, and that trend continued tonight as his winless streak hit 13 games.
Tyler Myers left the game with a lower body injury and did not return.
The Sabres have just two games remaining before the Olympic break begins and they’ll play those after a day off on Tuesday. Buffalo will host Pittsburgh (NBCSN) before heading to Ottawa on Thursday. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.