NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at NY Islanders
(Saturday, January 16th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 3, Buffalo 2 (SO)
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Trent Hunter picked the top right corner to end the shootout in the eighth round and Rick DiPietro earned his first win in over a year behind 31 saves, as the New York Islanders took a 3-2 win from Buffalo at Nassau Coliseum.
Sean Bergenheim and John Tavares scored in regulation for the Islanders, who were coming off an emphatic 6-0 rout of the Red Wings Tuesday that kicked off a three-game homestand.
New York has put together a nice stretch with five wins in six games and is 8-2-1 over its last 11. DiPietro was making only his second start of the season and seventh in two full campaigns after a long recovery from knee surgery.
"I'm trying not to cry on the ice," DiPietro said of his comeback. "I told myself I wouldn't cry. But it's an emotional time for me, and it's been a long time coming. It's been a rough road -- to get the win is amazing."
Mike Grier and Drew Stafford got the goals for Buffalo, which is still 7-0-2 over its last nine games. Ryan Miller had 36 saves in the loss.
"You always like to get the other point, but in the scheme of things we're on a long road trip, the guys dug in and battled hard," Grier said. "They're a team that's playing good hockey. I think if we look back on it, we can be pretty happy that we got a point."
The shootout reached the deciding eighth round but not for a lack of scoring as New York and Buffalo pumped in three scores each. Hunter was patient in waiting out Miller to beat him up high and Patrick Kaleta lost the handle coming in on DiPietro to close out the game.
Tavares crashed the net and chipped the rebound of a Kyle Okposo shot over Miller for a 1-0 lead at 5:38 of the opening period.
It became a 2-0 game on Bergenheim's redirection of an Andrew MacDonald pass with 4:27 remaining in the second. Grier, though, got Buffalo on the board 21 seconds later with a tip in front of Tim Connolly's shot through traffic from along the left boards.
A Chris Butler point shot trickled through DiPietro's legs with Stafford getting behind the goaltender to help it across the line and tie the game 9:35 into the third.
Connolly has now notched a point in 11 consecutive games and has generated 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) over that stretch...New York's Josh Bailey had a seven-game point streak snapped...The Sabres are in the midst of a season-long seven-game road trip and are a strong 13-6-1 as the visitor this season...New York has won its last four matchups at Nassau Coliseum and improved to 12-8-2 at home this season...Tavares got his first goal and point since December 23rd, a span of 10 games...New York hosts New Jersey on Monday, while Buffalo travels to Phoenix for the third installment on its road trip.
01/17 00:49:52 ET