EDMONTON - Cory Conacher had two goals and an assist as the Buffalo Sabres snapped a lengthy seven-game losing skid, emerging with a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers in a battle between the teams with the worst records in the NHL on Thursday.
Drew Stafford also scored for the Sabres (20-42-8) who had been outscored 21-6 in their previous seven losses.
Taylor Hall responded for the Oilers (25-37-9) who saw a two-game winning streak end.
The Oilers, now 10-5-3 in their last 18 games, are in second-last behind the Sabres.
Little happened for the bulk of the first period, save for a spirited scrap between Edmonton's Luke Gazdic and Buffalo's Zenon Konopka.
Edmonton had numerous chances on the power play late in the first, including posts hit by Justin Schultz and Hall, before the two connected for a man-advantage goal on Buffalo goalie Matt Hacket, who was making his first start of the season for the Sabres.
Schultz made a quick pass to Hall in the centre of the right faceoff circle and he blew a one-timer past Hacket with two minutes left in the first period for his 24th goal of the season.
The Sabres tied the game with a power-play goal of their own just before the midway point of the second period as Conacher was able to tip a Jamie McBain point shot past Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens.
Buffalo took a 2-1 lead 1:09 into the third period as a soft Schultz clearing attempt was intercepted by Torrey Mitchell and his shot on net was once again tipped past Scrivens by Conacher for his second of the game and sixth of the season.
The Sabres took a two-goal lead five minutes into the third as Scrivens was down and out on a rebound that came back to Stafford, who scored his fifth goal in the last seven games.
The Oilers play the third game of a six-game homestand on Saturday against the Calgary Flames. The Sabres play the third game of a five-game road trip on Sunday in Vancouver.
Notes: It was the second of a pair of meetings between the Oilers and Sabres this season. Edmonton won the first game 3-2 on Feb. 3… In their seven losses before facing the Oilers, only two Sabres players recorded goals — Drew Stafford (four goals) and Tyler Ennis (two goals)… Matt Hacket, who was recalled form Rochester of the AHL, became the fourth goalie used by Buffalo in the last five games… Both teams were fairly banged up for the game. Notable absences for the Oilers included forwards Jordan Eberle (knee) and Nail Yakupov (ankle), while the Sabres were without defencemen Tyler Myers (elbow) and Alexander Sulzer (upper body) and forwards Chris Stewart (ankle) and Zemgus Girgensons (lower body).