The Edmonton Oilers won their fourth game in a row with a convincing 6-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night at Rogers Place.
“It was a full 60 minutes and maybe as good a game as we’ve played all year,” Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie said after the game.
“All facets of the game seemed to be firing on all cylinders and because we had everyone going, we were able to spread the minutes out nicely tonight,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said.
The Oilers played a strong first period and took the lead when Kailer Yamamoto fired in his 15th goal of the season 7:21 into the game. Yamamoto has scored in four straight games.
“Yamo’s been playing great,” Oilers forward Zach Hyman said. “He’s elevated his game. He’s shooting the puck and he’s shooting to score.
“He’s got an undercover good shot; I don’t think people realize that.”
Later, Connor McDavid jammed in a puck from the side of the net to make it 2-0.
Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl notched his 40th goal of the season in the second. He extended to corral his own rebound, then stuffed the puck behind Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson.
The Oilers kept the pressure on and made it 4-0 on Darnell Nurse’s seventh exactly five minutes later.
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The Sabres got on the board early in the third on a long one-timer by Victor Olofsson. Devin Shore came right back for Edmonton, bagging his fifth on a shorthanded breakaway. It was Shore’s third goal in five games since becoming a new father.
“I think maybe with the lack of sleep you’re getting, you don’t have time to think or worry about anything else, you just go out and play,” Barrie said with a laugh after the game.
“It’s great for Shoresy and nice to see him tuck in a few here.”
McDavid didn’t play the final 5:41 after taking a high stick from Buffalo forward Vinnie Hinostroza, who was slapped with a double-minor on the play. Barrie scored on the power play to round out the scoring.
Edmonton netminder Mike Smith made 27 saves for his sixth win of the season.
“We have full confidence in Mike Smith,” Woodcroft said after the game. “I think if someone just picked up that stats sheet and read 6-1, you wouldn’t think there were good scoring chances against us. There were.
“And when we broke down at times, Mike Smith was there. That inspired confidence in his teammates as well.”
The Oilers (34-23-4) will host New Jersey Saturday afternoon. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED beginning with the Faceoff Show at 11:30 a.m. The actual game starts at 1 p.m.
–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED