NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 27th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (11-21-3) at Buffalo Sabres (16-14-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Fresh off their first win in December, the New York
Islanders will try for back-to-back victories when they visit the Buffalo
Sabres for tonight's matchup at HSBC Arena.
The Islanders ended their longest losing streak in 11 years Friday night as
they downed the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. New York had lost 10 games in a
row for the club's longest skid since another 10-game losing streak from
December 22, 1997 to January 10, 1998.
Bill Guerin scored twice for 400 career goals, as the Islanders rolled to
Friday's 4-1 decision over the Maple Leafs.
New York goalie Rick DiPietro made his return after a 27-game absence
following knee surgery and stopped 28 shots for his first win of the season.
DiPietro also notched an assist, the 14th of his career, and passed Billy
Smith for most career points by an Islanders goaltender.
Kyle Okposo and Freddy Meyer also scored for the Isles, who had not won since
beating Ottawa on November 29. New York hasn't posted consecutive victories
since recording wins in Buffalo and Montreal on November 22 and 24,
Doug Weight, who leads the Isles with 29 points, sat out the contest with a
groin injury and is questionable for tonight's game.
Tonight marks the first of two straight and six of seven on the road for the
Islanders, who are 5-12-1 as the visitor and have lost eight straight away
from the Coliseum.
The Sabres, meanwhile, lost their third straight game Friday evening in
Washington. Alexander Ovechkin scored a highlight reel goal in the third
period which turned out to be the game-winner, lifting the Capitals over
Buffalo, 3-2, at the Verizon Center.
Thomas Vanek notched his 25th goal of the season, one shy of Philadelphia's
Jeff Carter for the league lead, and Patrick Lalime made 31 saves in a losing
Maxim Afinogenov also scored for the Sabres, who have lost five of seven
The Sabres, who are 9-8-2 as the host this year, are ending the 2008 calendar
year with back-to-back home games. Buffalo will also welcome the Caps to
western New York on Tuesday.
The Islanders and Sabres have split a pair of meetings this year with each
club picking up a win on the opposition's ice. Buffalo has won 10 of the last
14 tilts in the series, but the Islanders have taken two of their last three
at HSBC Arena.
12/27 10:29:17 ET