Edmonton, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - In a game that could be key in determining draft lottery odds between teams at the bottom of their respective conferences, the Edmonton Oilers prevailed over the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, on Thursday.
Allowing two goals on 20 shots, Ben Scrivens was not particularly busy in net for Edmonton in its third win in its last four games.
Oscar Klefbom and Anton Lander each scored their first goal of the season for the Oilers, and Lander also tallied two assists. Matt Fraser scored Edmonton's first goal.
"He was exceptional, by far the best player on the ice," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said of Lander.
Jonas Enroth stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced as Buffalo dropped its 13th game in a row. Defensemen Tyler Myers and Rasmus Ristolainen each scored and Brian Gionta picked up assists on both goals.
"We had our chances," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said.
Trailing 1-0 in the first, Fraser tied the game for the Oilers. He found a soft spot in the defense, and Lander's pass from below the goal line set up Fraser's one-timer.
Just 2 1/2 minutes later, Edmonton went ahead on Klefbom's goal. Lander once again set up a one-time opportunity, and Klefbom ripped this one by Enroth for the go-ahead goal.
After a scoreless second period, Lander provided a valuable insurance goal. Fraser's pass to Teddy Purcell sent the Oilers into the zone on a two-on-zero rush, and Enroth could not make the stop on Lander's shot.
"It was fun to play, and it was a big win for us," said Lander.
Ristolainen pulled Buffalo within one just before Enroth could leave the ice for the extra attacker. Scrivens made the initial save on the rush, but Ristolainen crashed the net from the blue line, sending both the puck and Scrivens into the cage.
Buffalo only got one shot on goal in the final two minutes and failed to tie the game.
Myers got the Sabres on the board just over two minutes into the game. Edmonton's defense lost the blueliner sneaking into the top of the circle, and his wrist shot beat Scrivens.
Edmonton swept the season series but currently has four more points (35) than Buffalo ... The Oilers had not beaten the Sabres in Edmonton since Oct. 16, 2003 ... Buffalo's Chris Stewart and Tyler Ennis each lost three-game point streaks ... Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges played in his 600th NHL game ... Edmonton improved to 10-7-1 against Eastern Conference opponents.