The post 3 Takeaways from Oilers’ 8-3 Blowout Win Over Sabres appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

The Edmonton Oilers won their second straight tonight, defeating the Buffalo Sabres in a lopsided 8-3 final. As the score suggests, the Oilers got contributions from many throughout the lineup in this one, proving, yet again, how scary they can be for opposing teams to go up against.

Related: Corey Perry Says Oilers Players “Need to Check Ego at the Door”

This loss puts a serious damper on the Sabres’ playoff hopes, as they remain five points back of the Detroit Red Wings for a wild-card spot, while also having played two more games. They battled hard through 40 minutes but were unable to hold back the Oilers in the third. Here are the three main takeaways from this one.

Oilers Overcome Slow Start

Despite what the final score suggests, the Oilers by no means had this one in control from the get-go. They trailed less than two minutes into the game, as JJ Peterka was left wide open in front and beat Stuart Skinner on the Sabres’ first shot of the night. They appeared to go up 2-0 later on a goal off the stick of Rasmus Dahlin, but the Oilers caught a break as it was called back for an offside.

The Sabres did briefly take a 2-0 lead on a goal from Viktor Olofsson, but Leon Draisaitl responded shortly after to make it a 2-1 game heading into the first intermission. The Oilers began to take over after that, outscoring the Sabres 2-1 in the second to make it a 3-3 game, and then breaking out with five unanswered in the third. It was a great response, though you’d have liked to see them play with more urgency out of the gate.

Ekholm Key in Win Over the Sabres

The move by general manager Ken Holland to bring in Mattias Ekholm at last year’s trade deadline has been huge for the Oilers. The 33-year-old has not only been by far and away the team’s best all-around defenceman but has also really helped Evan Bouchard raise his game to new heights.

Mattias Ekholm Oilers defenseman

While Bouchard is usually the one to get in on the offence, Ekholm reminded everyone that he has some offensive talent in his game, registering two goals and an assist. He also fired five shots on net. With the three-point night, he now sits with seven goals and 33 points through 65 games this season.

McDavid’s Quest for 100 Assists Continues

Only three players in NHL history (Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr) have registered 100 or more assists in a season, and Connor McDavid is looking to become the fourth. While his 26 goals are a major drop off from last season’s 64, he is now just four assists shy of hitting 90 for the first time in his career. He is just 14 back of 100 and has a real shot at getting there with 15 games remaining on the Oilers’ schedule.

#Oilers Connor McDavid becomes the first NHL player to record three consecutive 110-point seasons since Wayne Gretzky from 1989-90 through 1991-92! #LetsGoOilers

— Eric Friesen ???? (@EricJFriesen) March 22, 2024

McDavid led the way in this one with four assists on the night and now has 112 points on the season. He is five points shy of Nathan MacKinnon for third in league scoring. He also sits six points behind Nikita Kucherov for the league lead, though that could change as the Russian winger and his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates are currently playing against the San Jose Sharks.

Looking Ahead for the Oilers

With the 8-3 win, the Oilers have improved to 42-21-4 on the season, and sit six points shy of the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Pacific Division. The Canucks could go back to being eight points ahead later tonight, however, as they are currently in action versus the Montreal Canadiens.

The Oilers have two games remaining on their schedule this week, the first of which will come on Saturday against Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs. They will be back in action less than 24 hours later in a game against the Ottawa Senators.

Next: Flames’ Dan Vladar to Receive Season-Ending Hip Surgery

The post 3 Takeaways from Oilers’ 8-3 Blowout Win Over Sabres appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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