Goaltender Dustin Tokarski made 33 saves to backstop the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers Friday night.
The Oilers celebrated just past the two-minute mark of the game when defenceman Darnell Nurse’s shot from a bad angle got in behind Tokarski, but video replay showed the puck never crossed the line.
A few minutes later, the Sabres’ Arttu Ruotsalainen tipped a point shot past Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner. Again, the officials reviewed the play and determined Ruotsalainen’s stick was above the height of the crossbar — no goal.
Buffalo forward Anders Bjork beat Skinner on a breakaway early in the second period.
“Obviously, we got to do a better job in front of him (Skinner) — limit those great chances,” Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said after the game.
“We just need to be a little more solid in front of him.”
Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl replied with power-play goals 2:49 apart to put the Oilers up 2-1.
Sabres forward Dylan Cozens broke in after an Oilers turnover and tied it 2-2 with 6:04 to go in the second.
Cozens struck again in the final minute of the period, cleaning up the rebound after Vinnie Hinostroza was stopped on a breakaway.
“We allowed them to score easy goals,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said. “We chased the game the whole game.
“We had some effort there but we just didn’t play very smart.”
With just over six minutes on the clock in the third, Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a chance alone in front. However, he couldn’t lift the puck over Tokarski.
Tokarski later came up with saves on one-timers by Jesse Puljujarvi and Draisaitl.
The Oilers kept the pressure up with Skinner on the bench for an extra attacker in the final two minutes but couldn’t tie it.
The Oilers had 14 shots on goal in the final eight minutes of the game.
“It’s disappointing that we played the way we did to allow them the opportunities they got,” Tippett said.
Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists, giving him 17 on the season. He has yet to score.
The Oilers (10-3) will play in St. Louis on Sunday. The game is on 630 CHED with The Faceoff Show at 3:30 p.m. The game starts at 5 p.m.