Eric Comrie’s ‘unreal’ performance backs Sabres in road win

EDMONTON – Rasmus Dahlin was once in the center of explaining how the Buffalo Sabres survived a third-period barrage led via Connor McDavid to win 4-2 when he paused and easily nodded his head towards his goalie, Eric Comrie.

“Thanks to him,” Dahlin mentioned, letting out a couple of laughs at his dressing room stall Tuesday evening after a disturbing 20 mins in which the Sabres needed to chase away a livid Edmonton Oilers assault that generated 23 pictures on purpose. 

Comrie, making his 2nd Sabres get started in his fatherland, delivered a career-high 46 saves. He wasn’t by myself in serving to Buffalo beef up to 2-1, regardless that.

The Sabres’ protection, down a person in the 1/3 era with Ilya Lyubushkin injured, cleared the entrance of the online and broke up a number of cross-ice passing performs via the Oilers. Buffalo’s forwards helped comprise Edmonton’s assault to the outdoor, proscribing McDavid and others to pictures from the fringe.

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Dahlin, Tage Thompson, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch every had a purpose to again Comrie.

“They were awesome clearing traffic,” Comrie mentioned, crediting his defensemen. “They were outstanding making sure I could see everything, grabbing sticks. Even on the backdoor plays, it was amazing how many times guys got their sticks on plays to make them not execute the shot they wanted to execute.”

The Sabres have been outshot 23-5 throughout a 3rd era in which they blocked 8 Edmonton makes an attempt and generated just a few notable scoring alternatives. But it wasn’t way back that Buffalo, the youngest crew in the NHL, struggled to win shut video games. It’s a pattern the Sabres corrected overdue ultimate season and the ones classes appear to have carried over into 2022-23.

It all started with a momentum-shifting play 44 seconds into the second one era via Thompson. The Sabres’ first-line heart minimize around the excessive slot on his backhand, skated round defenseman Darnell Nurse to get to the entrance of the online and completed the play on his forehand via guiding the puck around the line with one hand on his stick with give the Sabres their first lead of the sport, 2-1.

The highlight-reel play via the $50 million heart was once the capstone of an excellent 2nd era in which Comrie made lead-preserving saves, Lyubushkin leveled any other Oilers ahead with a large hit and Peterka scored a breakaway purpose.

“Ah, not too good,” Dahlin joked when requested about Thompson’s purpose. “Disgusting. It’s so good that he scored that goal now. He’s going to stay hot the rest of the season.”

The Oilers (1-2) have been pushing to tie the ranking early in the second one era when a Leon Draisaitl turnover resulted in the Peterka breakaway purpose and a 3-1 Sabres lead. Buffalo outshot Edmonton 10-1 over the primary seven mins of the second one.

The sport may have gotten clear of the Sabres early, regardless that. They controlled handiest seven pictures on purpose around the first 20 mins and gave the league’s highest energy play two alternatives to damage Edmonton’s pattern of beginning gradual. Comrie made key saves on Evander Kane, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyson Barrie and Jesse Puljujarvi.

The Oilers had 4 high-danger scoring possibilities, in step with, however their handiest purpose got here 23 seconds after Dahlin’s when Nurse completed a 2-on-1 go from Leon Draisaitl with 15:37 last to make it 1-1.

“He was unreal,” Dahlin mentioned of Comrie. “He made so many big saves to keep us in the game.”

The Sabres achieved so little offensively in the 1/3 era that Dahlin joked he did not execute one go in the ones 20 mins. Even with out taking a penalty, Buffalo was once hemmed in its personal zone and not able to generate a lot with the puck.

Faceoff losses gave the Oilers extra alternatives. Still, a accountable means round Comrie had the lead at two objectives till Nugent-Hopkins scored on a free puck in the slot with Edmonton’s goalie pulled and an additional attacker at the ice to chop the deficit to 3-2 with 1:33 last.

The Oilers have been looking to tie the ranking in the general minute when Tuch secured the win with an empty-net purpose.

“He stood very tall,” Sabres trainer Don Granato mentioned of Comrie. “We did a great job of clearing guys out from that point or not allowing them to get good wood on the shot. Combination of the D and Comrie in net were outstanding. The best part of it was we were still confident all the way through.”

Here are different observations from the sport:

Dahlin made historical past once more in the primary era when he become the primary defenseman in franchise historical past to attain a purpose in every of the Sabres’ first 3 video games in a season. His wrist shot off a faceoff win via Casey Mittelstadt at 4:00 into the sport gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead and snapped its 0-for-8 skid at the energy play. 

According to the NHL, Dahlin and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedmen are the one NHL defensemen since 1992-93 to attain in every in their crew’s first 3 video games of the season. For the sport, Dahlin led the Sabres in pictures on purpose (5), however Owen Power had rather extra ice time at (23:41).

Peterka gave the impression calm as he stickhandled towards the Oilers’ internet and he scored his 2nd purpose of the season via snapping the puck beneath the precise leg pad of Stuart Skinner. 

At 19 years outdated, Peterka has two objectives and 3 issues in the primary 3 video games of the season. His function is proscribed for now, regardless that. His 12:09 of ice time Tuesday set a season excessive.

Sabres winger Jack Quinn was once a wholesome scratch in opposition to the Oilers after taking part in 11:25 and 9:33 in opposition to Ottawa and Florida, respectively. Quinn, 21, remained at the ice lengthy after the morning skate concluded Tuesday and labored with the penalty kill throughout the temporary crew exercise. The resolution was once made, Granato defined, to provide Quinn a distinct point of view as he breaks into the NHL and doesn’t sign anything else instead of a smash to be told.

“I don’t think it hurts Jack at all,” Granato mentioned. “I think it’s a great opportunity for development, to sit back after a couple of games and take some different things in. He won’t be out long. He’s here. We know he’s a young guy in a high-development range of his career. It’s important for him to get ice time and also it’s important for him to step back, too, and not be in the fire all the time as part of the development process.”

The Sabres’ road commute continues Thursday with a sport in Calgary in opposition to the Flames at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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