Buffalo (29-11-5) at Islanders (20-19-8)
With a 7-1-2 record, the Sabres headed onto Long Island looking to win their second of seventh game on the road trip. The Islanders came in having won their last two, including a convincing 6-0 win over Detroit.
Rick DiPietro started in net for the first time in over a year at Nassau Coliseum. There no surprise seeing Ryan Miller get the start for Buffalo.
John Tavares started the scoring early in the first period with his 17th goal of the season. Buffalo outshot New York 11-10 and successfully killed off both penalties.
Sean Bergenheim had New York on the board again on the 30th shot of the night for the Islanders. After killing off four straight penalties, the Sabres were down two, with five minutes to go in the second period.
Only 21 seconds later, the Sabres responded, scoring for the first time at Nassau Coliseum in eight periods. Mike Grier tipped in a shot from Tim Connolly cutting the Islanders lead in half. Connolly extended his career high point streak to eleven games with the assist.
Despite being outshot 21-6 in the second period, the Sabres managed to escape only down by one goal. Drew Stafford tied the game up for the Sabres halfway through the third period. Stafford is now tied for the team lead with 12 goals.
With neither team scoring in the overtime period, they headed to a shootout. Both teams had a number of chances to win the game in the shootout, but it was the Islanders who came out on top. After Trent Hunter scored, the Sabres had one more chance to keep the shootout going. Patrick Kaleta lost control of the puck on his attempt and the Sabres lost by a score of 3-2.
After losing to Colorado in an 11-round shootout, the Sabres lost in eight rounds to the Islanders.
Once again the Sabres overcame a two goal deficit, earning a point on the road. In their last ten games, they are 7-0-3. After two of seven games on the road trip, the Sabres have gained three out of a possible four points.
It is safe to say that Ryan Miller kept the Sabres in the game Saturday night, helping them gain at least one point my heading to overtime. Miller stopped 36 of 28 shots in the loss, and four of eight in the shootout.
Buffalo only had one power play during regulation. They received one in overtime, but it only went for 15 seconds as time expired. The Sabres killed off all four penalties in the game.
The Sabres will head to Phoenix for Monday's game against the Coyotes. Buffalo now trails New Jersey by one point for first place in the Eastern Conference.
Kevin "DP DP DP" Freiheit