Give credit to Joakim Nygard and Riley Sheahan. They both played solid games on Sunday night and found their way into the goal column. Their contributions were part of a terrific second period by Edmonton. That period bought the Oilers a much-needed point in the standings.
A poor start, which led to two Buffalo goals, had the Oilers in a hole early. A dominating second period and decent third not only gave the Oilers a point but had them knocking on the door of a second point multiple times. Overall, it wasn’t a bad night for the Oilers.
The biggest downside, other than losing? The top line was once again largely ineffective. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zack Kassian had a very poor night against the Sabres. The trio played 15:46 at five-on-five, the most by far of any Edmonton line.
They got dominated possession-wise. The trio posted a Corsi For of 32.35% (11 CF – 23 CA) and was outscored 0-1. The line was outshot 11-6, while Draisaitl committed two extremely poor turnovers during the overtime period. It was a bad night for this line.
In fact, in their last three games, McDavid and Draisaitl haven’t looked like themselves. On Friday night against the Kings, McDavid’s line (James Neal, Josh Archibald) posted a 41.18% CF% in 11:28. Draisaitl’s line was even worse. He, Jujhar Khaira and Sam Gagner mustered a 38.89% CF%. It wasn’t pretty.
Draisaitl’s line surrendered the only goal against on the night.
McDavid has just one point, an assist, in his last three games, while Draisaitl hasn’t been nearly as effective offensively. That’s not to say these players are bad players, they are quite the opposite. If you watch McDavid and Draisaitl right now, however, it’s pretty easy to tell that they are not their dynamic selves.
I have been saying all year, this team cannot rely so much on these two superstars.