EDMONTON– Eric Comrie made an NHL career-high 46 saves for the Buffalo Sabers in a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Tuesday.
Edmonton native Comrie made his first start in his hometown. He made 22 saves in the third period for his first victory with the Sabers since signing a two-year contract on July 13.
“They [defensemen] were awesome for clearing traffic; they were exceptional in making sure I could see everything,” Comrie said. “Even a lot of backdoor games, it was surprising how many times they put sticks on games to make sure they weren’t running the games they wanted to run. They did a great job and I owe those guys a lot of credit tonight.”
Rasmus Dahlin, Tagus Thompson, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch scored for Buffalo (2-1-0).
Video: [email protected]: Thompson weaves through traffic to break the tie
Nurse Darnell and Ryan Nugent Hopkins marked, and Stuart Skinner made 20 saves for Edmonton (1-2-0), which has lost its last two games.
“Comrie played well,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “We definitely threw everything we had at him in the first and third. I thought maybe we gave them two goals there; the kid (Thompson) makes a [heck] of a play on one, and the other is just a freebie. We knew they had that talent and they were going to hurt you if we did things like that, and they certainly did.”
Dahlin scored on a 4-on-3 power play at 4:00 of the first period to make it 1-0. He picked up a head-to-head victory by Casey Mittelstadt and beat Skinner with a wrist shot from top of the circles.
“It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win, and that’s what this league is about,” Dahlin said. “We just dug in the third period and [Comrie] kept us in the game. It was a really good team effort and we have a lot of guys coming here and competing hard so it’s really good for the future.”
Video: [email protected]: Dahlin rips PPG home from draw
Nurse scored 23 seconds later at 4:23 on a 2-on-1 run with Leon Draisaitl tie 1-1.
“Any time you lose, there’s no satisfaction in this room, there are no moral wins,” Nurse said. “We’re not happy to be 1-2 to start the year. We can say whatever we want, but we have to go out and show it on the ice. We’ve been emphasizing a lot about having a good start of the game. , and I thought our start was better than the first two [games].”
Thompson gave the Sabers a 2-1 lead 44 seconds into the second period. He rounded Nurse rushing down the right wing, cut inside against Skinner and slid the puck into the net.
“I was just driving with some speed on the wing and saw open ice in the middle,” Thompson said. “Once I got my backhand, I tried to bring it back to my forehand, I figured the keeper was going to slip, and it worked.”
Peterka extended the lead to 3-1 on a breakaway at 5:15 following an offensive zone giveaway by Draisaitl.
“In the second period, we made a few mistakes that ended up in the back of our net and we weren’t able to score those mistakes,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “But certainly in Period 1 and Period 3 we liked what we saw.”
Video: [email protected]: Peterka takes advantage of the breakaway
Nugent-Hopkins brought Edmonton to within 3-2 with a pass from McDavid at 18:27 of the third period.
Tuch fired an empty net at 7:55 for the 4-2 final.
“They threw a lot of pucks into Comrie’s pads and he stood really tall,” Sabers coach Don Granato said. “We did a great job clearing the guys from there and not allowing them to have good wood on their shots. Comrie was very calm; he was more of a blocker in the way they threw the pucks at the net. u glove saves or blocker saves or post-to-post saves, they were throwing pucks from bad angles and crushing the net. He had to hold on while our defenders cleared him or limited second chances, and he held on.”
REMARKS: Oilers rookie forward Dylan Holloway left the game at 2:20 of the second after receiving a hit from Ilya Lyubushkin in the center of the ice. There was no update. … Lyubushkin left later in the period for an undisclosed reason, unrelated to the hit, according to Granato, and played a shift in third … Comrie made 42 saves in a 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina on April 21 when he was with the Winnipeg Jets. … Buffalo was 0-for-8 on the power play before Dahlin’s goal. … Peterka is the fourth player in Sabers history to start his rookie season with at least one point in each of his first three games (Tyler Ennis, 2010; Calle Johansson, 1987; Victor Olofsson, 2019). …Buffalo forward Vinnie Hinostroza got an assist on his season debut.