Sabres skid into home game against Oilers

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres could use a win more than ever.

Buffalo's losing streak increased to seven games after a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. The struggling Sabres held a team-only meeting after the game, and both players and coaches didn't hold back afterward.

The Sabres (5-13-4) will get a shot at some redemption on Friday in a home game against the Edmonton Oilers.

"I think we just have to start holding guys accountable, start being honest with ourselves and our teammates," Sabres forward Jordan Nolan said. "This team hasn't been too successful the years and it needs to change. It's going to be a long, long season and a few seasons to come if that's the way it is."

Nolan was one of the few bright spots for the Sabres in the loss to the Wild, scoring his first two goals as a Sabre.

"We need to turn the page here and start holding each other accountable, I think," Nolan said. "It's the little things. That's what I learned coming into the league. And I think we are missing that a little bit in this room. But guys are young and I think they need to be told."

Little has gone right for the Sabres in their first season under new head coach Phil Housley. Evander Kane (12 goals, nine assists) has been Buffalo's only consistent scorer, and the team is looking for more from youngsters Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart.

"I think they've got to make a decision internally, about playing the right way," Housley said. "Because right now we're chasing games. I really like the fight we had until the end, but when you chase games that's a losing recipe."

The Oilers (8-12-2) are having an up-and-down season and an up-and-down recent stretch of games. In their last five games, the Oilers have big wins (8-2 over Vegas, 6-2 over Detroit) and bad losses (4-1 and 8-3 defeats to St. Louis, 6-3 to Dallas).

The Oilers are coming off one of those wins, having defeated the Red Wings in Detroit on Wednesday. Six different players scored in the victory for Edmonton.

"We played the type of game that it takes to win in the league," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said, according to the team's website. "We made plays when they were there. We managed the puck and chipped it out when the plays weren't there.

"We had good shift length and good line changes, we blocked shots. We were responsible all over the rink and it took everybody. It's a good lesson for us. We want to bottle that up and use it in Buffalo on Friday."

Connor McDavid (10 goals, 18 assists) leads the Oilers in scoring with 28 points in 22 games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (eight goals, nine assists) and Leon Draisaitl (six goals, 11 assists) each have 17 points.

Cam Talbot has a save percentage of .901 in 20 games.

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