Sabres 4, Oilers 3: Not Quite

Normally, you’d be thrilled to take a tie into the dressing room after two periods.  At least, if you’ve followed the Oilers over the past couple of seasons, you ought to be thrilled.

This season, being tied after two games has been more of a curse than a blessing.  Entering last night’s game, the Oilers were 0-5-2 in games when they were tied after two periods.

Last night’s game didn’t change much of the norm.

Overall, not a bad effort in Buffalo.  One of the young guns opens the scoring, and the team takes a tie to the end of two periods.  Pin any reason you’d like on this one, they’ll all work:  Tom Gilbert’s absence from the lineup, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ absence from the lineup, or the second game in as many nights.  Team ran out of gas in the third (save for some late-period Corey Potter goal shenanigans).

Let’s begin the fun.

  • Taylor Hall : Serious Business.

    Taylor Hall is four shades of awesome, it’s true. But how about Ales Hemsky in this mess? Nice little pass to Hall who fires it behind a bewildered looking Ryan Miller. Getting the lead is important.  Holding on to it is something the club will hopefully learn to do before I turn 70.
  • Oilers PP had a PPG courtesy of Sam Gagner.  Oilers found themselves on a 5-on-3 midway through the second period.  Gagner buried a one timer from Jeff Petry and it brought the Oilers back to a 2-2 tie.  You know who had another assist on that goal?  Take a guess.  Both Gagner and that guy finished with a pair of points on the night.  Corey Potter was able to pull the Oilers back to within one late in the game, but you’re here and you know how this ends.

AND THEN THIS

  • Not going to throw Josh Green to the wolves here as he had some interesting matchups, but -4 is probably not how he planned on making his season debut.  Really was surprised to see him pull over 11 minutes.  Next time, Greener.

Would've liked to have this one back. Photo AP/David Duprey

  • Buffalo’s first goal was scored by Jason Pominville.  If I could go back in time, I’d give Khabibulin a few extra seconds notice on that one, because I know he’d like to have it back.  Khabibulin’s been top notch this season, I’m not giving him the grill yet.
  • HOLY COW RYAN MILLER:  Look, I’m a goalie guy.  But when even your own fans start calling you out each time an opposing player comes within five feet of you, the jig is up.  The Oilers nearly had a lead when Corey Potter hammered one home, but Ales Hemsky was called for goaltender interference.  Hemsky brushed against Miller when crossing in front of his crease, and if you missed it, Ryan Miller happened at that very moment to execute a backwards two and one-half somersault with a very high degree of difficulty. The Oilers were able to kill it off, but wow man.

So what’s next?  St. Louis on Thursday.  Still waiting on Dan Carcillo’s suspension?  So are we.

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Topics: Ales Hemsky, Josh Green, Nikolai Khabibulin, Taylor Hall

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