Oilers 4, Sabres 2
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) _ Peter Klima scored twice and added an assist as the Edmonton Oilers won their second straight game with a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Friday night.
Klima started Edmonton’s comeback from a 2-0 deficit and eventually scored the winning goal as the Oilers continued to erase the memory of a recent nine- game losing streak.
Martin Gelinas and Steve Smith also scored for the Oilers, while Dale Hawerchuk and Mikko Makela scored for Buffalo. Sabres goaltender Daren Puppa struggled all night and allowed two bad goals.
The Sabres jumped into a 2-0 lead early in the first period when Hawerchuk, on a deflection, and Makela, on a back-hand from in close, scored 32 seconds apart before the four-minute mark.
The Oilers were being badly outplayed until Klima took Craig Muni’s long pass at the Buffalo blue line and went in alone on Puppa, who went down much too soon.
Klima skated past the net and lofted a high shot into the net at 10:33.
Gelinas tied the score at 11:28 when he converted Benoit Hogue’s errant pass, and Klima scored his seventh of the season at 17:40 on the power play when a pass deflected to him off of Makela’s stick.
Edmonton goaltender Bill Ranford made several key saves in the scoreless second period, diving across the crease to stop Hogue and robbing Rick Vaive with a brilliant glove save while the Oilers were two men short.
Puppa was again out of position when Smith took a pass from the corner in the third period and let go with a low wrist shot that went between the goaltender’s pads to make it 4-2 at 5:11.
The six-goal splurge was a welcome relief for the Oilers, who have struggled offensively most of the season.
″We’ve had trouble scoring goals in the past,″ Klima said. ″We’re just working hard in the practices to put things together and we had 20 guys going tonight. It just worked out great.
″Now we’re six points behind Winnipeg,″ he said of the Jets, who hold down fourth spot in the Smythe Division. ″We’re trying to catch Winnipeg first and then we’ll go from there.″
The Oilers, 4-11-2, moved out of the NHL basement and into 19th spot, ahead of idle Quebec and Toronto.
The defending Stanley Cup champions have four games in hand on the Nordiques and the Maple Leafs and have played four fewer games than the Jets, 6-4 losers Friday night to the New York Rangers.
″We had lots of chances to win the game, but they scored on their chances early on a couple of real bad plays and it turned the game around,″ Sabres coach Rick Dudley said.
″We came back at the end and then they scored a goal and that pretty well did us in.″