NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Buffalo |
(Monday, January 1st)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, NY Islanders 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller made 29 saves as the Buffalo
Sabres defeated the New York Islanders, 3-1, at HSBC Arena. The lone goal by
the Islanders ended a franchise-record scoreless streak that lasted 186
minutes and 31 seconds.
Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who swept their
four-game homestand and have won seven of nine overall. Paul Gaustad and
Jochen Hecht added the other markers.
Jason Blake had the lone tally for the Islanders, who have dropped three
straight and entered the game having been shut out in their previous two
contests. Rick DiPietro stopped 31-of-33 shots in defeat.
Buffalo, which came in having tallied on just three of its last 20 power play
opportunities, opened the scoring on the man-advantage. Brian Campbell, an
immovable force at the top of the slot this season, took a feed from
Afinogenov and fired a slapshot through traffic that deflected off DiPietro.
The rebound fell into the crease, and Gaustad quickly knocked it past the
netminder for the 1-0 lead at 8:06.
"Just getting to the net," said Gaustad, describing what led to his goal.
"I've been thinking to myself (that) where I score most of my goals is in
front of the paint. I haven't been getting there lately, just getting there,
cleaning up the trash that lays around there. I've been playing well, I just
haven't been getting the breaks. It felt good tonight."
Miller robbed the Islanders with 7:38 remaining, drawing a huge reaction from
the crowd as he stretched out for a diving save on a wrist shot by Richard
Park after the initial shot by Arron Asham deflected loudly off the crossbar.
"The puck laid flat for Asham," said Miller after the game. "He's always had a
hard shot. He kind of crossed me up, and it hit the crossbar. I was looking to
where it went. I saw Park had slipped to the side, (and I) just got back."
Buffalo grabbed a 2-0 lead with 8:33 remaining in the second period. Off a
turnover by the Islanders in their own zone, Derek Roy corralled the loose
disc and sent a forward pass to Afinogenov, who weaved through a couple
defensemen and fired a wrist shot over DiPietro's left shoulder for his 18th
goal of the season.
New York tested Miller just six times in the middle stanza.
Blake's tally ruined the shutout bid and cut the Isle's deficit to 2-1 with
8:19 remaining in the contest. The left winger got around Buffalo defenseman
Toni Lydman and cut through the crease before sending a backhand shot past
Miller inside the far post.
Hecht added an empty-net tally with 15.5 seconds remaining to seal the fate of
"The last three games we've dried up a little bit offensively, but the last
five games I believe we've only given up one even strength goal," said
Islanders head coach Ted Nolan. "The way they fought back today, we had some
great opportunities, you never know. I'm not concerned at all. Eventually
we're going to score some goals."
The game marked a return to Buffalo for Nolan, who guided the Sabres for
two years, and was the league's coach of the year in 1997...Buffalo hasn't
allowed a power play goal in 18 straight chances dating back to December 21 at
Nashville...Blake leads the Islanders in goals (22) and points (39) on the
season...Gaustad ended a 17-game scoreless drought with his first period
goal...This was the second of four meetings between the teams this season.
The Sabres posted a 3-0 shutout October 29th on Long Island.
01/01 20:07:01 ET