We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.
– Colonel John McCrae
First off, happy Remembrance/Veterans Day, everyone.
The Edmonton Oilers are coming off of a tough shoot-out loss versus the Ottawa Senators in which they outplayed and outshot the Senators. In what was typically the Oilers marquee meltdown period (the second period), the Oilers actually turned it up and had outshot the Senators 15 to 6, however the lone goal went to the Senators that period. Still yet, the Oilers have 3 of 4 points on the current 5-game road trip so far and hope to get some more tonight in Buffalo.
The Sabres, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back losses. Their last game was all the way back on Saturday, a 4-2 loss to the Bruins. Friday’s game was a 5-2 loss to the Flyers. The Sabres are currently first in the North East division and will look to regain their form versus the Oilers tonight.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up
Based on yesterday’s line-ups… this will be updated accordingly:
Penner – Gagner – O’Sullivan
Comrie – Brule – Hemsky
Reddox – Cogliano – Pisani
Moreau – Potulny – Stortini
Smid – Visnovsky
Grebeshkov – Staios
Strudwick – Gilbert
Buffalo Sabres Projected Line-Up
– Ales Hemsky is a game time decision. I would think that if he draws in, O’Marra sits and O’Sullivan moves back down to line 2 in favor of Hemsky. Edit: Hemsky is in, and is slotted in O’Marra’s spot on line 2 with Brule and Comrie.
– According to Bob Stauffer, Chorney did “attempt to take the morning skate”, but his ankle is still bothering him.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
15:31 – BUF – Stafford from Vanek, Connolly
Connolly passes it out front from behind the net. Vanek takes a crack at it, and Khabibulin saves it. Stafford punches home the rebound.
– Hemsky back on the top powerplay (with Penner/Comrie), and Gagner, Cogliano and Potulny on unit 2.
– Steady Steve outplays Vanek twice, first poking a puck away from him which would have been one-timed, and then boxing him out from getting a tap-in, empty netter.
– Buffalo have a couple of full shifts in a row without a stoppage, in which they hem the Oilers in their zone and get them on their heels.
– Gagner blocks a point shot with his back (standing up).
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
7:34 – BUF – Montador from Connolly, Sekera
Staios blocks shots from Connolly twice in a row, but he can’t do it all as Montador steps into a loose puck and blasts it past Khabibulin
17:49 – EDM – PP – O’Sullivan from Hemsky, Visnovsky
Visnovsky makes a great play on the 5-on-3 to keep it in the zone, as does Hemsky. Hemsky circles and passes it cross-ice to O’Sullivan who buries it past Miller.
– Staios makes a really nice shot block, although I’m not sure anyone really noticed. Generally a defensive d-man is doing his best though if he goes unnoticed.
– Stortini gets the puck right in close range on Miller, but Miller shuts the door. Great save.
– Hemsky passes on a 2-on-1 over to O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan has Miller down and beat. He fires it up mid-height, but some how hits the post. He can’t buy a goal.
– Gagner shows some great battle on a particular powerplay (Buffalo for too many men). He strips the puck off Miller who is wandering to play a puck in the trapezoid on one play, and wins a nice battle down low with one of the Sabres d-men later in the shift.
– Oilers get a fairly long (1 min 23 second) 5-on-3 opportunity. O’Sullivan notches a goal during the 5-on-3.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
19:41 – BUF – EN – Hecht unassisted.
With the net pulled, Patrick O’Sullivan tries to pass the puck through the neutral zone to the wing and it’s intercepted by Hecht and he makes no mistake putting it into the open net.
– The line of Moreau, Cogliano and Stortini has been on, tonight, generating some good chances and cycling well.
– Roy absolutely undresses Staios on a one-on-one rush, getting him all turned around. Staios ends up taking a penalty on the play, and Khabibulin bails him out with a nice save.
– Khabibulin stones Vanek on a slapper, and Vanek takes a lazy penalty on O’Sullivan right after.
– Hemsky puts on a dangle session around the Sabres defense, but can’t beat Miller.
– With 10 minutes left in the game, Moreau takes a bad holding the stick penalty in the offensive zone. We’ve never seen him do stuff like that before though.
– Moreau’s penalty doesn’t look so bad now that Gilbert has taken an even worse interference penalty after Moreau’s penalty expired. However it may have been embelished by the Sabre he took it on.
– Reddox gets absolutely buried from behind by MacArthur. Reddox look like he folded up like an Oragami crane. MacArthur gets 5 and a game for the hit.
The Oilers lose another one where they outshoot their opponent (albeit by a very slight margin). They played a pretty solid game, except for the first period. I thought Steve Staios had a very good game (except when he was undressed by Derek Roy). O’Sullivan had his usual snake-bitten game, although he did get a goal (as well as an assist on Hecht’s empty netter).
Probably the worst part of the night was the hit on Liam Reddox from behind. It looked pretty ugly and he was helped off the ice. Hopefully he’s ok though. Sparky Kulchisky was later seen peeling Reddox’s tape-on moustache off the boards and collecting it for the equipment room.
Aside from that, it was a pretty slow game for most of it. The Oilers played a pretty good road game, so they should be happy with the game, despite the loss. Although there were a few big mistakes made on the night such as a couple of bad penalties. The Sabres didn’t capitalize on those chances though. Khabibulin had a pretty solid game and even kept the score close for quite a while before getting pulled for the extra attacker.
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