The Sabres and Oilers had nearly identical records when they played each other for the lone meeting of the 2008-2009 season. Thomas Vanek was the only Sabres player to go to the all star game, with much thanks to his 28 goals.
This game got out of hand early and it remained that way for the rest of the night. Just ten seconds into the game, Drew Stafford took a shot the beat Dwayne Roloson for the first goal of the night. One minute later, Nathan Paetsch scored, building the Sabres lead to two.
Derek Roy added a goal of his own midway through the first period, making it 3-0. Despite being up by three after one, the Oilers outshot the Sabres 18-11 in the first period, but Ryan Miller stopped them all.
Jochen Hecht made it 4-0 just two minutes into the second period. Erik Cole’s power play goal halfway through the second gave Edmonton a glimmer of hope, but that didn’t last long at all. Less than a minute later, Tim Connolly scored on the powerplay, regaining the four goal lead for Buffalo.
Thomas Vanek and Jaroslav Spacek also added goals in the second, making it 7-1 after two periods of play.
Stafford, the nephew of longtime Oilers equipment manager Barrie Stafford, made it a nine-goal game with two goals just 1:18 apart midway through the third to record the hat trick.
“It was pretty ironic. I was pretty nervous before the game,” Stafford said. “You don’t get too hyped up and look into things too much, but this one was special for me, it was my first time here playing in front of my uncle seeing me live. Growing up and hanging out with him and that team, it was pretty special, pretty unique.”
Both teams each score again towards the end of the game. Connolly’s shorthanded goal finished the game off, ending in a 10-2 Buffalo victory. It was the worst loss in Edmonton Oilers history.
Miller’s stellar performance was overshadowed by the rout. Miller stopped 36 of 38 shots in the victory.