EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)It was a win that the Buffalo Sabres really wanted to get for coach Ralph Kreuger.
Colin Miller scored 1:13 into overtime to give the Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
Kyle Okposo and Johan Larsson also scored and Linus Ullmark stopped 26 shots for Buffalo, which recovered after giving up a 2-0 lead in the first period and snapped a two-game skid.
The game marked the return of Kreuger to Edmonton after he coached the Oilers for the lockout-shortened 2013 season, before famously being fired over Skype and replaced by Dallas Eakins.
”We talked about it in between periods and this morning and we wanted to get a win for him,” Okposo said. ”We know how much it meant to him. Things didn’t end well for him here and he won’t say it, but I know that this game meant a lot to him.”
Krueger confirmed that this win meant more than most.
”It’s real nice, they know the story and they know the history,” he said. ”We have an honest culture in there and we’re just out for each other. It was a beautiful victory here especially because of the character we showed to get it.”
In the extra period, Miller took a feed through the crease from Marcus Johansson to score the winner. Jack Eichel picked up an assist on the play to extend his point streak to 13 games.
Riley Sheahan and Joakim Nygard scored for the Oilers, who have lost four of their last six games. Mike Smith finished with 19 saves.
Trailing 2-0 after one period, Edmonton pulled within one 8:25 into the second as Nygard sent Sheahan in on a breakaway and he sent his first goal of the season while snapping a 30-game goal-scoring drought by tucking the puck through Ullmark’s legs.
Nygard tipped his second NHL goal in off a shot by Darnell Nurse to tie it in the waning seconds of a power play with 4:04 left in the middle period.
”It’s tough to say what’s wrong,” Edmonton defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. ”We’ve tried to get a winning streak going here, but it’s not going to happen if we’re not ready from the start. We can’t expect really expect to always be coming back from 2-0.
”We have to be better. We should be in the front seat in a game like this and outwork these guys, especially when we’ve been focusing on getting a win streak going.”
Okposo tipped Marco Scandella’s shot past Mike Smith 4:08 into the first period to open the scoring for Buffalo.
Larsson picked up a big rebound in front and put it five-hole on Smith for this third of the season and a 2-0 Sabres lead with 9:17 left in the opening period.
NOTES: The teams meet again Jan. 2 at Buffalo. … Forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian returned to the lineup for Edmonton, with Nugent-Hopkins missing six games with a hand injury and Kassian out for three games with a bad back. … Matt Benning (head) remained out for the Oilers while the Buffalo injury list included Matt Hunwick (neck), Vladimir Sobotka (knee), Tage Thompson (upper body) and Rasmus Dahlin (concussion).
Sabres: Host St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Oilers: Host Carolina on Tuesday night to close a four-game homestand.
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