The Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers are the two worst teams in the NHL, and the Sabres are certainly deserving of that distinction as they’re mired in the longest losing streak in franchise history.
They’ll try to prevent it from reaching 13 on Thursday night when they go for a fifth straight win in Edmonton.
Buffalo (14-31-3) finished last in the league in 2013-14, and it’s in the same position this season while sitting two points back of the Oilers (12-27-9), who are in the Western Conference cellar.
The Sabres’ spiral to the bottom of the NHL has turned historic. They’ve set a team record with 12 straight losses, and they’ve all come in regulation for the longest such skid since Pittsburgh went 13 games in 2003-04.
Buffalo is also 0-11-1 in its last 12 on the road, surrendering an average of 4.58 goals while scoring 1.75 per game.
That continued in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Calgary, as Buffalo gave up three goals in the third period while being outshot 15-2 and 31-18 overall.
"It’s frustrating. We played 40 minutes of good hockey and came out in the third and kind of just crumbled," right wing Chris Stewart said. "We did have our chances and we just have to bear down. When they got their chances they put them in. That was the difference."
Stewart has been a rare bright spot for the Sabres, collecting four points in the last three games while scoring in each of the past two. He had eight goals and two assists in his last six visits to Edmonton while playing with St. Louis.
Drew Stafford has eight goals and two assists in seven career games against the Oilers, scoring in a 3-2 home loss Nov. 7 and a 3-1 victory at Rexall Place on March 20 as the Sabres won for the fourth straight time there.
The Oilers have lost four of six, with the victories coming against teams from the East. Edmonton, 9-7-1 against the opposing conference, returned from the All-Star break with a 2-1 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.
"It was one of those games that we could have seen ourselves winning, but we had too many turnovers," said center Boyd Gordon, who tied it in the second period. "It was one of those games that we kind of let slip away."
Edmonton may be without Taylor Hall for a second straight game after suffering a bone bruise in his leg during practice earlier this week. The left wing has two goals in his last three against Buffalo, and his 29 points tie him with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for the team lead.
Nugent-Hopkins doesn’t have a point in three career meetings with the Sabres, while Eberle has one in four.
The Sabres will again turn to Jhonas Enroth after he allowed at least four goals for the fourth straight start Tuesday. Enroth has been the starter for seven of the losses during the skid while posting a 4.90 goals-against average.