NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 11th (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (0-1-0-0) at Buffalo Sabres (0-1-0-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two clubs that tasted defeat in their season-opener clash tonight when the Buffalo Sabres welcome the New York Islanders to HSBC Arena.
What is supposed to be a promising season for the Sabres got off to a mediocre start Thursday, as Philadelphia's Jeff Hackett stopped all 17 shots he faced to back a 2-0 Flyers victory at the Wachovia Center.
Mark Recchi and Michal Handzus both scored third-period power-play goals for Philadelphia after the teams had battled through two scoreless frames. The Sabres allowed the two PPGs on six chances with the man advantage.
Former Hobey Baker winner Ryan Miller received the nod in net for Buffalo in place of incumbent starter Marty Biron. Miller made 24 saves for the Sabres, who are also carrying netminder Mika Noronen on the roster. Noronen was the odd-man out and was a scratch.
The shutout continued the trend of Buffalo failing to generate offense. Last season the Sabres placed 25th in the NHL with a mere 190 goals. Chris Drury, obtained from Calgary in the offseason to spark the weak attack, failed to record a shot on net in the opener.
Buffalo will host Dallas on Monday before opening a six-game road trip three days later in Edmonton.
New York, meanwhile, began the campaign with a 6-1 pounding at the hands of host Washington. Mariusz Czerkawski, back for his second tour with the Isles, scored the only goal for the club, which fell to 1-24-3 in the last 28 meetings with the Capitals.
Goaltender Garth Snow stopped only 20 of the 26 shots he faced for the Islanders before being lifted in the second period. Former No. 1 pick Rick DiPietro made 11 saves in just over 33 minutes of action the rest of the way and is expected to make the start tonight.
New York, which went a perfect 7-0 in the preseason, played its first regular- season contest under new head coach Steve Stirling. The Islanders turned to Stirling, who has been a member of the organization since 1997, after Peter Laviolette was fired in the offseason.
The Islanders will cap off a season-opening road trip Tuesday in Atlanta before holding their home opener Thursday versus Florida.
New York went 3-1 against Buffalo last season and is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings.
10/11 10:10:17 ET