NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 14th
(All times eastern)
(8) New York Islanders (0-1) at (1) Buffalo Sabres (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders hope to have their top goaltender
Rick DiPietro back between the pipes and the Buffalo Sabres will try to take a
two-game lead when the clubs meet this evening at HSBC Arena for Game 2 of the
best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
DiPietro, who has been sidelined with post-concussion syndrome, hasn't played
since March 25, but has been cleared by team doctors and will be a game-time
The No. 1 overall pick by New York in the 2000 draft, DiPietro was signed to
an unprecedented 15-year, $67.5 million contract in the offseason. He was
32-19-9, with a .919 save percentage and 2.58 goals against average this year.
The Islanders were able to make their successful late-season run to the
playoffs with Wade Dubielewicz in net, but would prefer to have DiPietro back.
Meanwhile, the top-seeded Sabres earned a 1-0 series lead on Thursday, as they
breezed past New York, 4-1, in Buffalo. Chris Drury and Brian Campbell each
scored a pair of goals to lead the Sabres to the easy win at HSBC Arena.
Dainius Zubrus collected three assists for the Sabres, and Ryan Miller stopped
20 shots to earn the victory.
Thursday's contest was the first postseason battle between these franchises
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.
Arron Asham notched his first career playoff goal in Game 1 for the eighth-
seeded Islanders, and Dubielewicz surrendered four goals on 35 shots to lose
in his playoff debut.
The opener of the set continued the trend from the regular-season meetings
between these clubs, as Buffalo took three of four from the Isles during the
New York struggled a bit away from Long Island this year, as it was just
18-17-6 as the visiting club. Meanwhile, Buffalo was superb at home this
season and ended the year with a 28-10-3 mark at HSBC.
After tonight, this series will head to Long Island for the next two matchups
and Game 3 is scheduled for Monday evening at Nassau Coliseum.
04/14 10:50:24 ET