As the clock hit zero Friday night, the fans rose to their feet with a standing ovation. It was time for the Buffalo Sabres and the KeyBank Center crowd to enjoy a victory.
It had been awhile.
The Sabres ended a seven-game winless skid with a 3-1 victory over Edmonton. Buffalo kept the Oilers quiet for most of the night to earn their first win since beating Washington on Nov. 7.
Goaltender Robin Lehner made 28 saves, including 13 in the third period, as Buffalo moved to 1-5-2 in the last eight games, 3-7-1 at home and 6-13-4 this season.
The Oilers fell to 1-4 in their last five and 8-13-2 overall.
Work it: The Sabres pinned the Oilers in their zone with hard work, and it paid off. Jacob Josefson opened the scoring with 5:44 left in the second period, netting his first goal with Buffalo and first since Feb. 4 with New Jersey.
As the Sabres did a quality job cycling the puck, Josefson fought off Edmonton's Yohann Auvitu along the boards. Josefson then eluded the defenseman by changing directions behind the net and put a shot on goaltender Laurent Broissoit.
Kyle Okposo chased down the rebound, and Josefson found open space in the slot. He fired a shot into the top corner to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.
On net, in the net: Eichel attempted five shots during the opening two periods, but only two reached the goaltender. During a rush in the opening minute of the third, he tossed a shot toward the cage from the right boards. It wasn't hard, but it didn't matter.
Broissoit flubbed the catch, and the puck slipped home to give the Sabres a 2-0 lead. Eichel has goals in back-to-back games after scoring just once in the previous 12 games.
Goal is money: Eichel's goal made fan James Kelly $5,000 richer. The opening minute of the third period is dubbed the "KeyBank Money Minute," and the bank awards a monetary prize to a lucky fan if the Sabres score within 60 seconds. Eichel needed 43 seconds to make Kelly a winner of $5,000.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 25, 2017
Seal it: With Brossoit on the bench for an extra attacker, Okposo rolled a shot into the empty net from his own zone with 50.6 seconds left.
Ruin the shutout: Auvitu scored from the point on a slap shot with 19.3 seconds left.
Whistle first: Evander Kane hoped he was celebrating his 13th goal midway through the second, but the officials and their replay brethren said no. Broissoit stopped Kane's wraparound, but the winger took three more whacks to push the puck past the line.
The officials announced they blew the play dead before the puck crossed.
Power shortage: The teams combined for four power plays during the opening period, but they totaled just two shots. Buffalo had one shot on an early man-advantage and none on the next two, including one that carried into the second period.
Edmonton had no shots on its one attempt.
Keeping them quiet: The Sabres' team defense, combined with Edmonton's three penalties, allowed the home team to hold Edmonton to just four shots during the first period. Buffalo took 11 shots during the scoreless frame.
Buffalo had a 24-15 shot advantage after two periods.
No-goal light: For the second time during the Sabres' homestand, the fans and goal-light operator thought the team scored when a puck hit the net. Once again, the puck was on the outside of the net. Benoit Pouliot's point-blank chance went wide in the opening minute.
Ristolainen returns: The Sabres got their top defenseman back as Rasmus Ristolainen returned after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. He skated on the top pair with Marco Scandella. Jake McCabe skated with Victor Antipin, while Nathan Beaulieu shared the blue line with Justin Falk.
Scouting trip?: Although the Oilers were in Buffalo, their senior vice president of hockey operations took in a game in Rochester. Edmonton's Craig MacTavish watched the Amerks host the Binghamton Devils, according to Brayton J. Wilson of WGR-AM 550, who was at Friday's minor-league game that saw Rochester reach double digits in goals.
Scratches: Josh Gorges was the healthy scratch on defense after playing six straight games. Forwards Matt Moulson and Seth Griffith also sat. Moulson has been a healthy scratch in five straight games.
Counting the house: The Sabres announced 19,070 tickets sold, giving them their first sellout since opening night. The crowd included actors Anson Williams ("Happy Days") and Jimmie Walker ("Good Times"), who are in town for the World's Largest Disco on Saturday night.
Next: The Sabres will finish their sixth of 16 sets of back-to-backs Saturday when they visit the Montreal Canadiens. Buffalo is 2-2-1 so far on the second night. Montreal should get a boost with the return of goaltender Carey Price, who has been out with injury since Nov. 2.