Cozens scores 2, Sabres snap skid with 3-2 win over Oilers
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Dylan Cozens scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, in a span of 5:14 and the Buffalo Sabres snapped a 0-4-1 skid with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.
Anders Bjork also scored during a second period in which Buffalo overcame a 2-1 deficit after Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl scored two power-play goals. Dustin Tokarski stopped 33 shots — including bang-bang chances by Draisaitl with 4:45 remining — for his second win in seven starts, and after allowing 13 goals in his past three outings.
The Pacific Division-leading Oilers dropped to 10-3 in failing to win 11 of their first 13 games of a season for the first time in team history.
Draisaitl improved his NHL-leading total to 14 goals, and Connor McDavid had an assist to extend his season-opening points streak to 13 games, in which he now has nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points.
The 13-game run to open the season is just the fifth in the NHL since 2000, and longest since Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon had a 13-game streak to open the 2019-20 season. McDavid’s streak ranks fourth among the Oilers, with Wayne Gretzky having the three longest runs of 16 games (1984-85), 30 (1982-83) and 51 (1983-84).
The assist also was McDavid’s 599th career point in 420 games. Only five players have reached the 600-point mark in fewer games, with Eric Lindros ranking sixth at 429.
Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner stopped 20 shots in making his second start of the season, and third of his career. He got the nod with starter Mike Smith sidelined with a lower body injury, and with Edmonton playing on consecutive nights following a 5-3 win at Boston.
Cozens scored the go-ahead goal with 50 seconds left in the second period by converting a loose puck in the crease, and after Skinner stopped Vinnie Hinostroza’s backhander on a transition break.
Cozens tied it at 2 with 6:04 left in the second period, and set up for a partial breakaway by Drake Caggiula, who intercepted Duncan Keith’s pass at center.
NO GOAL TIMES 2
The teams traded goals negated by video reviews in the opening 10 minutes.
Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse’s shot from a bad angle was initially ruled a goal 2:14 in. Replays, however, showed the puck went off Tokarski’s pad, off the crossbar and rolled off the goalie’s back without crossing the goal line.
Buffalo’s Arttu Ruotsalainen then had a goal disallowed by review when replays clearly showed his stick was above the crossbar when deflecting in Jacob Bryson’s shot from the left point.