Sabres cruise to first win in Okposo’s debut, defeat Oilers 6-2

Ryan O'Reilly's four-point night leads the way as Kyle Okposo nets a goal in his first game as a Buffalo Sabre

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Ryan O’Reilly had two goals and two assists and the Buffalo Sabres pounded the Edmonton Oilers 6-2 on Sunday night for their first victory of the season.

Brian Gionta also scored twice, and Kyle Okposo and Matt Moulson had Buffalo’s other goals. Robin Lehner made 31 saves.

Benoit Pouliot and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, who had won back-to-back games before the loss.

Cam Talbot stopped 17 shots for Edmonton. Jonas Gustavsson relieved Talbot in the second period and stopped the only shot he faced before exiting with an injury about 10 minutes later.

Buffalo started the scoring 2:37 into the first period when Sam Reinhart made a nice feed across to Okposo and he beat Talbot for his first as a Sabre.

The Sabres went up 2-0 7:14 in. Okoposo made a great pass while on the power play to O’Reilly at the back door.

Edmonton got one back with 2:40 left in the opening frame when the rebound from Zack Kassian’s shot went off the leg of a hard-charging Pouliot and past Lehner.

The Oilers tied the game with 1:00 left in the period when the big rebound from Leon Draisaitl’s shot came out to Lucic, who scored his first goal as an Oiler and the 400th point of his career.

Buffalo got a freebie 3:53 into the second when O’Reilly took a shot just from Buffalo’s side of center that Talbot badly misjudged and ended up tipping into his own net.

The Sabres restored their two-goal lead midway through the second when Gionta tipped in Johan Larsson’s point shot, prompting Edmonton to bring in Gustavsson.

With Talbot back in net, the Sabres made it 5-2 just 37 seconds into the third. Gionta tucked a shot between Talbot’s legs on Buffalo’s 16th shot of the game.

The Sabres kept it coming with Moulson’s power-play goal four minutes later.

NOTES: The Sabres were without a pair of big-name players up front with center Jack Eichel out an expected six to eight weeks with an ankle sprain and forward Evander Kane likely out several weeks with broken ribs. … Buffalo did get a boost from the return of Okposo, as the free agent signing played his first game after missing their opener with a sore knee. Buffalo defenseman Dmitry Kulikov also made his debut.


Sabres: Travel to Calgary to play Tuesday.

Oilers: Host Carolina on Tuesday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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