Oilers-Sabres Preview


Edmonton (18-33-6) at Buffalo (15-31-8), 7:00 p.m. EDT

The Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres are at the bottom of their respective conferences, but one team has been decidedly more successful this week.

The Oilers seek their fourth win in five games Monday night when they visit the Sabres, losers of six straight at home but winners of six in a row in the series.

Edmonton (18-33-6) has allowed a league-worst 194 goals but gave up three total during a three-game winning streak. The Oilers couldn’t earn a season-high fourth straight victory Saturday, falling 4-0 to Boston.

Ben Scrivens gave up three third-period goals, one game after making 59 saves in a 3-0 win over San Jose on Wednesday. That established a regular-season NHL record for saves in a shutout.

“We’ve got to take what we can from it,” he said of the defeat to the Bruins. “We went into the third period in a one-goal game in a tough environment.”

Edmonton will try to get back in the win column by sending Buffalo (15-31-8) to its ninth loss in 11 games. While they rank last in the league with 105 goals, defense has been the main culprit in the Sabres’ recent struggles.

Buffalo has allowed 40 goals during its 2-5-3 stretch and gave up its highest total of the season in a 7-1 loss at Colorado on Saturday.

“It’s obviously a hard game for us. A very tough game for us,” said Ryan Miller, who was pulled after the second period. “We have to come to compete from the start.”

Backup Jhonas Enroth will reportedly start Monday instead of Miller. Enroth has never faced Edmonton.

Scrivens has gone 1-1-1 with a 1.51 goals-against average in his last three appearances against the Sabres.

The Sabres had recorded seven goals in two games before Saturday’s lopsided defeat, and they’ve scored three or more in eight of the last 10, including a 3-2 win in Phoenix on Thursday.

Tyler Ennis has four goals and seven assists in his past 11 games, while Cody Hodgson has six goals and three assists in his last 10.

The Sabres are 0-3-3 in their last six at home and have given up 22 goals in the last five of those. Five of the six defeats have come by one goal.

Buffalo has outscored Edmonton 26-10 in its six consecutive wins in the series. Edmonton has gone 2-10-2 in its last 14 road games.

The Sabres are expected to get forward Drew Stafford back Monday after he missed four games due to an upper-body ailment. Stafford had three goals and two assists in the four games before suffering his injury Jan. 25.

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Updated Sunday, Feb 2, 2014