BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Matt Hendricks’ short-handed goal 57 seconds into the third period lifted the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in a matchup of the NHL’s two worst teams Monday night.
Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry also scored for Edmonton, and David Perron had two assists. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 42 shots in helping Edmonton snap an 0-5-1 skid against the Sabres dating to a 4-1 win on Oct. 16, 2003.
The Oilers (19-33-6) earned their fourth win in five games and bounced back from a 4-0 loss at Boston on Saturday.
Drew Stafford and Steve Ott scored for the Sabres (15-32-8), who dropped six points behind the Oilers in the overall standings.
Buffalo, coming off a 7-1 loss at Colorado on Saturday, dropped to 4-8-4 in its past 16 games — and 0-4-3 in its last seven at home. The seven-game skid in Buffalo is the team’s longest since opening the season 0-8-1.
Sabres forward Marcus Foligno had a potential game-tying goal waved off with 10:25 left when referee Gord Dwyer ruled the whistle had blown before the puck went in. Foligno drove in from left side and got a shot off that Bryzgalov appeared to glove. Foligno followed up by poking the puck in.
Dwyer, parked at the left post, immediately waved it off and then confirmed the call following a video review.
Bryzgalov was sharp in the final minute when the Sabres pulled their goalie for an extra attacker. He gloved Alexander Sulzer’s shot from the right circle that went through a crowd.
Sabres backup goalie Jhonas Enroth stopped 25 shots, dropping to 1-11-5 this season and 0-9-4 in his past 13 starts.
Enroth gave up a soft goal on the first shot he faced when Petry opened the scoring on a weak backhander 32 seconds in. But Enroth had little chance on Hendricks’ go-ahead goal, which came 14 seconds after Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was penalized for hooking Stafford from behind to foil a scoring chance.
Following a turnover inside the Oilers blue line, Boyd Gordon threaded a pass through the middle to hit Hendricks, who had sneaked in behind Buffalo’s defenders. Breaking in alone, Hendricks backed Enroth into the crease and lifted a shot inside the left post.
The Oilers overcame a 2-1 deficit after Schultz evened the score with 3:15 left in the second period.
It came on a transition rush after Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis had his shot go off Bryzgalov’s mask. Perron carried the puck up the left wing, cut toward the middle and found Schultz jumping into the play. Schultz drove into the right circle and snapped in a shot off the far post.
The Oilers are 2-1 in their past three despite being outshot by a combined 144-80, including 44-28 by the Sabres.
Buffalo’s special teams scored both goals.
Ott tied it 1 with a power-play goal by converting a rebound after Bryzgalov stopped Tyler Myers’ hard shot from just inside the right circle.
Stafford then scored on a short-handed 2-on-1 break. Faking a pass through the middle to Zemgus Girgensons, Stafford turned and snapped a shot that beat Bryzgalov over his left shoulder with 53 seconds left in the period.
Stafford was playing his first game after missing four with an upper-body injury, and he picked up where he left off. Stafford has four goals and two assists in his past five games.
NOTES: To make room for Stafford, the Sabres placed LW Matt Moulson (upper-body injury) on injured reserve. LW Ville Leino was a healthy scratch. … Oilers LW Ryan Smith is tied with Wayne Gretzky for second on the franchise list with 125 power-play goals, one short of Glenn Anderson. … The Oilers continue their four-game, pre-Olympic break road trip at the New York Rangers on Thursday. … The Sabres became the last NHL team to reach 100 goals this season when Ott tied it at 1. By comparison, Buffalo has allowed a combined 110 goals in the first two periods.