It's a point taken

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

BUFFALO -- When Dominik Hasek was their No. 1 goaltender, the Buffalo Sabres didn't get a chance to see a lot of Dwayne Roloson.

Last night they nearly saw too much of him.

Roloson was outstanding in a 2-1 overtime loss, making 29 saves and earning the Edmonton Oilers a valuable point in the chase for a playoff spot.

LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES

"We had a lot of opportunities, especially in the second period and Roli made some spectacular saves," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "He also made a couple of great reads. He did a nice job tonight. I thought both goaltenders were good."

Roloson spent part of two seasons with the Sabres as Hasek's backup. He was a member of the Stanley Cup finalists in 1999, watching most of the playoff run from the bench. In total, Roloson played in 32 games for the Sabres in two years.

"Roli had to make a couple of real five-star saves that looked like sure goals," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "Roli was spectacular. Especially in the second period. They really started to come, I think they were outshooting us eight or nine nothing at that point. Then we started to come back and take the game back in the last half of the second period. But Roli really supported us and allowed us to be ahead 1-0."

It took a period for the Sabres to shake the rust off from not having played since Saturday.

If it wasn't for Roloson things would have gotten ugly in the second period.

The Sabres had nine shots on net in the first six minutes of the period. The Oilers had none. It was as though the ice was tilted in the visitor's direction. But to their credit, the Oilers battled back from the barrage and began to create opportunities at the other end.

Shawn Horcoff had given the Oilers the lead in the first period, converting a feed from Ales Hemsky in front and firing it past Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.

Daniel Briere went on to score the overtime winner.

"Tonight both goalies played unbelievable," said Horcoff, who also had a handful of other chances.

"In overtime, right away you could tell that it wasn't going to take long for someone to score. They have points to burn and we need them. When you have a situation like that you're going to see a lot of offence and we just weren't able to capitalize on our chances."

Roloson held the Sabres off for most of the second period, but Maxim Afinogenov managed to beat him with less than two minutes remaining in the frame, banging home a rebound.

The Sabres right-winger then left the game with a broken wrist and is expected to be out for the next six-to-eight weeks.

In the third period Roloson stopped Chris Drury on a short-handed breakaway to keep the game tied.

"Defensively we played really well," said Roloson. "We played a smart defensive game and capitalized on their turnovers. That's what we want to do and we can use this as a building block and keep on moving forward."

OILERS WENT FOR IT IN OT

In overtime, the Oilers went after the second point, starting Toby Petersen on the blue-line in an effort to get more offence in the four-on-four situation.

However it was the Sabres who took advantage of their first opportunity as Briere ripped a shot over Roloson's shoulder, finishing off a three-on-one rush. And finishing off the Oilers.

"He made a great shot," Roloson said. "He was able to settle the puck down, wait out a guy who was dropping down, there was a lot of chaos in front, and he made a nice shot to put it in."


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