1/24/97 -- 10:16 PM

Oilers-Sabres


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Dan McGillis scored one goal and set up another in the third period to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

McGillis helped snap a 1-1 tie when he hit Ryan Smyth with a pass at center ice that Smyth lifted over Sabres goaltender Steve Shields with 8:31 left for the eventual game-winner.

McGillis' slapshot less than two minutes later put the game away and ended Buffalo's four-game winning streak and handed the Sabres their first loss at home in nine games.

Andre Kovalenko had the other goal and added an assist on McGillis' goal for the Oilers, who earned their first victory on a four-game road trip. Edmonton, which outshot Buffalo 35-23, improved to 19-4-2 all-time against the Sabres.

Rob Ray scored for Buffalo, which played its third of seven consecutive home games. The Sabres had not lost at Marine Midland Arena since Dec. 13.

Buffalo had a goal disallowed with 7:49 remaining when forward Brad May was called for interfering with Oilers goalie Curtis Joseph. McGillis' goal came on the ensuing penalty.

Buffalo had tied the game 1-1 when Ray broke through the slot and one-timed Barrie Moore's pass from behind the net for his sixth goal. The goal is the most for Ray in one season since 1990-91, when he had eight in his first full year in the NHL.

The Sabres had come out sluggish and produced just five shots in the first period before winning the battles in the corners and putting 13 shots on Joseph in the second.

Kovalenko had started the scoring with a power-play goal early in the first period to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead. Doug Weight sent a cross-ice pass from the point to the crease, and Kovalenko waited for Shields to commit himself before lifting a backhander into an open net for his 24th.

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