The New York Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders played a tough hard-fought game and were able to come out victorious. After dropping two games to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Islanders needed this win badly. They worked very hard, but there’s still room for improvement. As well as they played tonight, they could always play better.
Buffalo takes a 1-0 lead in the first period
The Islanders got off to a fast start generating a few chances shortly after puck drop. They were getting the puck near the net but were really unable able to get some shots on the net. They made a few decent plays, nothing too dangerous. Buffalo started to get some chances, though Islanders played some solid defense. It was pretty even early on until Tobias Rieder got a rush of speed and drew a hooking penalty from Scott Mayfield. The Sabres have a very good power play, they mustered off two shots on the power-play. But, the Islanders had a great penalty kill with Adam Pelech making some great plays. 17 minutes and 15 seconds in the Sabres score and get it past Semyon Varlamov with a bouncing puck. Curtis Lazar was the goal scorer and gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead after 1.
The Sabres outshot the Islanders in the first period 12 to 3. Hits were tied at 7, the period wasn’t too physical. Buffalo got the better of New York in the faceoff circle. The Islanders needed to keep better care of the puck and needed to generate more opportunities. Even though it was 1-0 Sabres, Varlamov had a better period than Linus Ulmark. The Islanders had a solid period but needed to improve their game.
Islanders tie it up in the second
Like the first, the start of the second period was eventful. Just 53 seconds into the frame, Mathew Barzal takes a tripping penalty. The Sabres got a few chances on the power play, including a Jack Eichel wrister off the post. But, the Islanders were able to skate free with it still being 1-0. New York gained some serious momentum off that penalty kill. Just shortly after Anders Lee makes some magic happen. Lee sweeps and dekes and backhands it past Ulmark to tie the game. After the goal, things were opening up for both teams. Varlamov had to make some really good saves to keep it tied. Though the Islanders had some chances that should’ve been goals. It is astonishing that they weren’t able to score with the chances they had. Seemingly, the Islanders haven’t been able to put the puck in the net when they probably should.
The period stayed tied at 1 apiece. The Islanders had a way better period and it showed on the scoreboard. Shots were 8-7 with the Islanders outshooting the Sabres. Varlamov had a very strong period, Ulmark had a pretty good period too. Anthony Beauvillier seemed a bit shaken up when the period ended. Very good period for the Islanders, but there is room for improvement.
Islanders win it in an exciting third period
The third period was the most exciting period out of the three tonight. Just about three minutes in Matt Martin Goes to a loose puck in and puts a wrist shot past Ulmark to make it 2-1. Just about a minute or two later, Anders Lee takes an interference penalty that sends Buffalo to the Power play. That lethal Sabres power play got to work and Sam Reinhart scored a beautiful goal batting it in off a rebound. Reinhart’s goal tied the game at 2. Both teams got close and the play was pretty even. That was until Barzal drew a tripping penalty that sent the Islanders to the power play with the chance to take the lead. The power play was moving pretty well with the first unit, but they didn’t get any shots on the net. The second power-play unit gets on and goes to work.
Oliver Wahlstrom takes a hard shot that is saved by Ulmark, but there was a rebound available. Jean-Gabriel Pageau gets the rebound and puts it home to give the Islanders the lead. Buffalo had some chances to take the game to overtime, but Varlamov stayed strong and iced the win for the Islanders.
The Sabres outshot the Islanders 17-12 in the third period. In the entire game, the Sabres outshot the Islanders 36-23. Varlamov was really good and was key to this win. The Islanders had 7 more hits than the Sabres. In the entire game, the Islanders got the better of the faceoff circle. Even though they didn’t get as many shots, the Islanders played better than the Sabres and worked their way to a 3-2 win.