EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Anton Lander’s first goal of the season was the game winner and he added two assists as the Edmonton Oilers won the battle of bottom-dwelling teams, 3-2 over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Matt Fraser and Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton (13-27-9), which has won three of the last four and sits four points ahead of last-place Buffalo (14-31-3). The Oilers are 6-5-2 since Todd Nelson took over as full-time head coach.
Defensemen Tyler Myers and Rasmus Ristolainen scored for the Sabres (14-31-3), who have lost a franchise-worst 13 games in a row and only have one win in their last 18.
Edmonton took a 3-1 lead eight minutes into the third as a turnover allowed a two-man breakaway with Teddy Purcell feeding Lander. Fraser picked up an assist on the play, giving him three points in the game, matching Lander.
The Sabres started the scoring just 2:22 into the first period as Torrey Mitchell won a battle behind the net and dished the puck out in front to Myers, who slipped a shot under the arm of Ben Scrivens for his second goal of the season.
Edmonton tied it at 1-1 with 7 1/2 minutes left in first period when Lander fed a puck from behind the goal line to Fraser, who beat Sabres starter Jhonas Enroth with a slap shot for his sixth of the year.
The Oilers surged ahead with five minutes to play in the first, as Lander sent a backhand pass to Klefbom, who also scored his first goal of the season.
Buffalo closed to within a goal with 2:02 remaining as Ristolainen followed up on the play to knock home a rebound through Scriven’s legs.
However, the Sabres took a late penalty and the Oilers were able to run out the clock.
NOTES: Oilers defenseman Nikita Nikitin left the game in the third period clutching his shoulder after a hard hit into the boards by Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons. … The Sabres play the third game of a five-game road trip in Vancouver on Friday. The Oilers return to the ice on Saturday in Calgary against the Flames.
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