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NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Buffalo

(Saturday, April 14th)

Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Buffalo 2

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Rick DiPietro returned to action and he stopped 32 shots to help the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at HSBC Arena.

DiPietro returned to the ice for the first time since March 25, as he was suffering from post-concussion syndrome. He was cleared to play by doctors after Thursday's Game 1 setback and was a game-time decision for Game 2. He proceeded to make several big saves throughout the game and help the Islanders bounce back from a 4-1 loss in the opener and even the best-of-seven series, 1-1.

"I've coached a few athletes in my day," said Islanders coach Ted Nolan. "You don't coach too many like Ricky. His whole demeanor, his love for the game, his enthusiasm, the way he approached life. He has a sense of confidence about him which demonstrates the rest of the team."

The teams will head to Long Island for the next two matchups. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday evening at Nassau Coliseum.

Marc-Andre Bergeron scored the go-ahead goal and Trent Hunter and Bruno Gervais each lit the lamp for the Islanders. Tom Poti added two assists.

Dmitri Kalinin and Toni Lydman each had a goal for the Sabres, who went 0- for-5 on the power play. Ryan Miller made 29 saves in the loss.

The Sabres were down, 2-1, to start the third period, but tied the game at the 2:12 mark as during a furious scrum in front that saw several shots on net. Kalinin finally put it in for his first career playoff goal.

Several minutes later Maxim Afinogenov was called for hooking and the New York power play took advantage to take a 3-2 lead.

Poti and Bergeron worked the puck back and forth at the points and Poti sent the puck to Bergeron, who one-timed it from the right point into the left corner of the net with 11:23 to play.

"We haven't been doing so good on the power play this series, it's huge," said Bergeron. "Our power play helped us to make the playoffs. It's been struggling in the first two games but we came up big with that goal."

Buffalo's power play was given an opportunity when Mike Sillinger was called for high sticking with 8:41 to play.

The Sabres generated several chance with the advantage, but DiPietro came up with several huge saves, including a body save on a Brian Campbell from the low slot.

Buffalo pulled Miller in the final minute of play, but New York was able to keep Buffalo from setting up and held on for the win.

The return of DiPietro seemed to spark the Islanders as they were all over Buffalo most of the first period and took a 2-0 lead.

A little over three minutes into the game New York was working the puck in the Buffalo zone and got it to Sillinger, who fired a shot from the left circle that went off the leg of Hunter and between the pads of Miller.

Then, with the teams skating 4-on-4, the Islanders notched another goal when Miroslav Satan won a left circle faceoff and drew the puck back to Gervais, who wristed a shot past an unscreened Miller at the 11:03 mark.

"I thought they played better than us for the first 18 minutes of the game," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "We worked hard to get back in it."

Buffalo started to find its game towards the end of the first period and put a lot of pressure on New York, resulting in a goal with just 1:02 left to make it a 2-1 game.

Thomas Vanek held the puck behind the New York and net and skated around a checker. He brought the disc into the slot and dropped it to Lydman, who snapped a shot through a screen and past DiPietro.

The second period was all Buffalo, but it was DiPietro who provided the highlights as he stopped 14 shots in the middle frame to preserve the Islanders lead.

About six minutes in DiPietro swallowed up a redirected shot from Vanek.

With about four minutes left in the second Buffalo sent several shots on net during one sequence with several players in front, but DiPietro scrambled around and turned aside every offering.

Game Notes

Gervais scored his first career playoff goal...New York went 1-for-4 on the power play...This is the first time these teams have faced each other in the playoffs since 1980, when the Isles defeated Buffalo in five games during the Stanley Cup semifinals. New York went on to win its first of four straight Stanley Cup titles that year.

04/14 23:47:51 ET

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