Quick Hits: Sabres at Oilers

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For the first time ever, the Buffalo Sabres headed into Edmonton to take on the Oilers at the brand-new, state-of-the- art Rogers Place.

What a debut for the Sabres it was. When all was said and done, the Sabres would handle the Oilers to the tune of 6-2. Let’s take a quick look back and see how we got there.

Buffalo did not wait long to announce their presence in Edmonton, and it would be Kyle Okposo netting his first goal as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.

As per usual, any goal with Sam Reinhart involved usually highlights his incredible on-ice sense. You can watch the play develop and it almost seems to the common fan that Reinhart can see plays develop in his head.

Reinhart knew where Okposo would be and knew exactly when to sling the puck to him.

On the second Sabres goal, we get to see the other side of Kyle Okposo. At the point, quarterbacking the power play for a moment, Okposo sees an opportunity to get Ryan O’Reilly a scoring opportunity in tight.

Okposo wastes no time getting a tape-to-tape pass off to O’Reilly, who makes no mistake putting the puck to twine.

Just like that, the Sabres found themselves up 2-0 just 7:14 into the first period.

Buffalo would not take too long to cough up that nice lead though, thanks in part to some poor defensive plays. As you’ll read shortly, Cody Franson might just want to burn tonight’s game film, it certainly was not his best performance.

After goals from Pouliot and Lucic, the Sabres saw their 2 goal lead evaporate.

While it is easy to blame Robin Lehner and his rebound control, it is smart to keep perspective.

Follow Chris, he’s hockey twitter’s resident goaltender and he smart.

After 20 minutes in Edmonton, the hockey game was knotted up at 2.

It would only take 3:53 into the second period for the Sabres to take the lead again. Ryan O’Reilly’s second goal of the game, and eventual game-winning goal, was quite a laugher.

O’Reilly took an innocent snap shot from the Sabres side of center ice. As soon as the puck left O’Reilly’s stick, it began to knuckle and bounce off the ice. When the puck reached goaltender Cam Talbot, it knuckled off his glove and into the net. 3-0 Buffalo.

 

Brian Gionta’s better-than-usual evening had a nice little thing added to it, when Gionta netted his first goal of the season.

Buffalo would add one more goal, this time on the power play. It was Matt Moulson who got the puck past Cam Talbot, for his second goal in two games.

As pointed out by our friend Bill Hoppe, Moulson scored 2 goals in a 63 game stretch last season, so he definitely seems to be starting out this season a little stronger.

Following the game, Dan Bylsma absolutely nailed it when speaking to media. “I thought we played a smart game, a heads-up game, a dominating game,” Bylsma said. “That’s how the Buffalo Sabres need to play.”

What a fantastic way for the Buffalo Sabres to climb into the win column for the first time in the 2016-17 season. Buffalo gets their next opportunity at a win on Tuesday night, when they travel over to the Saddledome to take on the Calgary Flames.

Quick Hits time!

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    • Nice to meet you, Kyle Okposo.

Dang, man. Kyle Okposo made a bang in his debut as a member of the Buffalo Sabres, with 1 goal and 1 assist in 19:13 of ice time.

Buffalo Sabres fans were hopeful that Okposo would bring a different dimension to the Sabres offense, and they were rewarded through one game.

More than honorable mention: Ryan O’Reilly – 2 goals and 2 assists in 20:32 of ice time. Those are grown man stats right there.

    • Defensive dumpster fire.

Our friend Dr. Liam highlights Cody Franson’s play vs. Edmonton perfectly.

Cody Franson took Mike Weber’s number and is clearly trying to live up to the hype.

Example: Franson lost the puck late in the and immediately committed a penalty – a microcosm of his entire night.

We can only hope Franson takes a seat against Calgary. Casey Nelson can’t be much worse, and Franson doesn’t mean THAT much to the power play..right?

    • From the “Credit Due” department.

Gorges had the job of defending against Connor McDavid tonight and he crushed the job. Gorges played McDavid very physical and seemed to have a spot carved out inside the brain of McDavid.

Josh Gorges is not the same player he once was in Montreal, but he can definitely be effective in small sample sizes.

    • Fancy stats, schmancy stats.

Rasmus Ristolainen laughs at your fancy stats tonight. The red-headed stepchild of the analytics community tossed up 3 assists in 26:43 of ice time tonight.

Not bad, Rasmus. Now, we just have to hope that Dan Bylsma does not play you to death.

    • Tweet of the Game.

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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