EDMONTON, Alberta -- Plenty of offense and plenty of solid defense against Connor McDavid and friends.
A time-honored combination produced the Buffalo Sabres' first win of the season Sunday night, a full-marks-earned 6-2 rout of the Edmonton Oilers in Rogers Place.
The scoresheet was chock full of numbers: Ryan O'Reilly led the way with two goals and two assists for Buffalo, producing the first four-point game of his career. Captain Brian Gionta had two goals while Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist in his Sabres debut and Rasmus Ristolainen chipped in three assists.
O'Reilly snapped a 2-2 tie at 3:53 of the second period by bouncing a 110-foot flip shot from just behind the center red line past a surprised Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot. He had previously scored a power-play goal at 7:14 of the first on an Okposo feed to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead. Buffalo coughed up that lead but responded to adversity to pull away and even its record at 1-1.
Instant impact: Okposo, who missed Thursday's season-opening loss to Montreal, gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead on the second shift of his first game with the Blue and Gold. The goal came on a perfect pass by Sam Reinhart.
Fast results: According to Elias Sports, Okposo became the fifth current Sabre to score on his first shot with the team, joining Zemgus Girgensons, Matt Moulson, Jack Eichel and Hudson Fasching. Buffalo, remember, has two historic goals on the first shift of careers from the opening faceoff: Danny Gare scored after 18 seconds of his first game in 1974 against Boston and Alexander Mogilny scored at 20 seconds against Quebec in 1989.
The Factor: O'Reilly scored his first of the season at 7:14, making it 2-0 on the power play by converting a neat diagonal pass from Okposo. O'Reilly also assisted on Okposo's goal and on Matt Moulson's second tally in two games that gave Buffalo a four-goal lead.
McDavid matters: The Edmonton sensation had six points in the first two games as Edmonton rolled up 12 goals in two wins over Calgary. But he was nowhere to be found in this one, not registering a shot on goal for the first 48 minutes and finishing with one. Buffalo defenseman Josh Gorges was one of McDavid's main adversaries, keeping a tight gap and putting a body on the Oilers captain on several occasions.
Big stop: Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner gave Buffalo an instant boost with a goalmouth stop of Edmonton rookie Jesse Puljujarvi in the first two minutes off a McDavid feed with the game still scoreless.
Also making his debut: Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov played his first game for the Sabres and partnered with Cody Franson. Casey Nelson was a healthy scratch. Up front, Nick Baptiste did not play as Okposo came into the lineup for the injured Evander Kane.
One Oil slick: Edmonton tied the game late in the first period on rebound goals by Benoit Pouliot at 17:20 and Milan Lucic at 19:00, the first with the Oilers for the former Boston agitator.
New house, new result: The Sabres were victorious in their debut in Edmonton's new downtown arena. Buffalo went just 9-23-3 against the Oilers in Rexall Place, the arena Edmonton called home from when it entered the NHL in 1979 until it moved downtown this season.
Up next: The Sabres headed to Calgary after the game and will practice Monday in the Saddledome. They'll meet the Flames there Tuesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern time. The Flames are 0-2-1 thus far. Former Buffalo goalie Chad Johnson made his debut for the Flames Saturday night in Vancouver, coming within four minutes of a shutout before suffering a 2-1 shootout loss to the Canucks.