Oct 15, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) watches the puck on a shot scored by New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (not pictured) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabre
Welcome to ‘Snap Shots’, our condensed, quick-fix post-game follow up after every match.
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Buffalo Sabres (0-6-1) at New York Islanders (2-2-1)
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, October 15th, 2013
Sabres (4) – Islanders (3) FINAL (Shootout)
Pre-Game Quips & Questions (Stats courtesy of NYI Gameday Notes)
The Islanders hit the ice earlier tonight against the Buffalo Sabres to kick off a four game homestand after dropping two games in a row. The Islanders squared off against the other New York team not from the metropolitan area in a game where the team looked to bounce back from a less than desired roadtrip.
Many fans see this as a “trap” game. The Sabres are still seeking their first win of the season and the Isles will have to make sure to produce a complete team effort for a full 60 minutes in order to capture the win. No matter who the opponent is on the other side of the ice, the Isles need to regroup and play the game they know they’re capable of.
Heading into the game, the Islanders are being outshot by their opponents 151-119. While the goaltending has been holding their own with a .921 SV%, it’s time for the team to kickstart its offense and get to the net. Evgeni Nabokov gets the start in net and with a defense that has been flat footed recently, will they step up and provide the support Nabokov needs in front of him?
Jack Capuano juggled the lines in this morning’s practice. Will moving Matt Moulson down to the third line and replacing Michael Grabner in the vacant role give the Isles the boost they’ve been lacking the past couple of games?
While Brock Nelson spends his 22nd birthday watching from the press box, will Pierre-Marc Bouchard prove his worth and demonstrate why he’s capable of being a top-6 forward? Fans have been quick to criticize the 29-year-old and now is a perfect opportunity to step up and bring his talents to the table.
Scratches for the night include Colin McDonald (day-to-day with a hip injury), Brock Nelson, Matt Donovan.
- Islanders on the penalty kill early, Michael Grabner continues to dominate the PK. All over the ice.
- Isles kill the delay of game penalty.
- Clutterbuck skating hard while chasing a puck into the Sabres zone, draws an interference penalty from Mike Weber (03:31).
- Isles getting good looks and shots on net during the power play. Pierre-Marc Bouchard much more visible on the ice, especially during the man advantage.
- Casey Cizikas comes out with a very strong start to the game. Making good passes, strong in the corners, and overall play halfway through the first very solid.
- Grabner gets an opportunity on a semi-breakaway. First attempt doesn’t go, gets another shot which is shot wide.
- Andrew MacDonald had a great pass to Josh Bailey who was looking for a deflection in front of Ryan Miller. Bailey’s deflection goes out of play.
- Evgeni Nabokov with great awareness stops two consecutive Sabres shots.
- Frans Nielsen rips a wrist shot top shelf over Ryan Miller’s glove for the first goal of the game. Thomas Hickey and Bouchard with his first assist (and point) as an Islander (13:11). 1-0.
- Nabokov with a great glove save. Playing a little bit out of the net, he steps up and stops Zemgus Girgensons’ wrister.
- After being out for almost two minutes, Josh Bailey and Pierre-Marc Bouchard create a 2-on-1 opportunity after the Sabres become lackadaisical, assuming the two were changing.
- John Tavares shot on goal from about 20-25 feet out
- Eric Boulton with a great pass in front to Casey Cizikas who can’t get a handle on the puck. Matt Martin comes in and finishes the play with a goal (08:08). 2-1.
- Travis Hamonic handles the puck into the Sabres zone and creates a play himself. Rips a shot on net that is saved by Ryan Miller.
- After a hit from Tavares, Marcus Foligno and Tavares go back and forth while the puck is still live.
- Intensity raises after Eric Boulton and Cody McCormick have a brief fight. Shortly after, John Scott takes down Cal Clutterbuck during the faceoff. Clutterbuck uses it as motivation to deliver a few solid hits in a row.
- Evgeni Nabokov somehow keeps the puck out of the net while flailing around in the crease.
- Good opportunities by the Isles, applying lots of pressure in the Sabres zone.
- Immediately after coming out of the box, John Tavares creates a scoring chance, gets a shot on net and Grabner isn’t able to get his stick on the rebound.
- Thomas Hickey gets physical and delivers a huge open ice hit.
- Tavares draws a penalty while Steve Ott attempts to practically jump Tavares in the corner. Okposo goes to the box as well for coming in to Tavares’ side, Islanders to the penalty as Ott went for two separate calls.
- Tavares fires a shot on net which deflects off of Matt Moulson’s leg for a goal (08:44). 3-2.
- Clutterbuck’s physical shifts irritating the Sabres. Clutterbuck draws an interference call on Henrik Tallinder. Back on the power play (09:21).
- The Islanders go on the penalty kill early as Thomas Hickey sails the pucks over the glass for a delay of game (01:13).
- Andrew MacDonald with a sloppy pass during the power play, allowing Buffalo to easily clear the zone.
- Sabres kill off Islanders power play.
- Islanders get lazy on the line change, draws a too many men on the ice penalty. John Tavares serves (05:47).
- Bouchard gets the puck on his stick after an Isles shot is saved. Tees up on what is practically an open net and misses.
- Clutterbuck takes a high stick to the mouth with no penalty called.
- Sabres outhitting the Islanders. Finish the period up 8-3 in the hit department.
- Sabres applying a lot of pressure in the Islanders zone. Isles can’t clear the zone or change lines, guys have been out there for about two minutes.
- Evgeni Nabokov thinks he has the puck somewhere in his pads but the puck trickles out from his legs for an easy tap in by Tyler Ennis (05:24). 1-1.
- John Tavares guilty of a high stick on Drew Stafford (08:21).
- Very nice play from Cody Hodgson to Thomas Vanek in front of the net for an easy goal (09:19). 2-2.
- Isles have a 3-on-2 opportunity. Kyle Okposo carries the ice into the Sabres zone and his pass intended for Tavares doesn’t come close, and nothing comes of the opportunity.
- Isles overall flat in the second period. Seem to be getting a little too fancy when it’s not needed.
- Sabres getting some good looks in the Islanders zone to start the third period.
- Kyle Okposo into the third seems a little off. Passes have been off and just overall doesn’t seem to be fully on his game.
- Okposo delivers a huge hit on Steve Ott in the Sabres zone and is called for a two minute boarding penalty (05:10).
- Sabres kill off the Islanders power play.
- Sabres goal comes from what seemed to be an innocent shot from Marcus Foligno but gets past Nabokov (17:59). 3-3.
- Islanders control most of the overtime period.
- Andrew MacDonald has a great scoring chance after making a move to the net but is denied by Ryan Miller.
- Miller great in overtime. Stopped several great chances by the Isles.
- Matt Moulson scores after a quick deke and scores under Miller’s right leg pad.
- Thomas Vanek scores high glove on Nabokov.
- Frans Nielsen deviates from his traditional move, wrist shot straight on saved by Miller.
- Tyler Ennis scores on a quick wrist shot on Nabokov’s stick side.
- John Tavares stoned by Miller on a simple shot.
Post-Game Responses & Reactions
O: Grabner-Tavares-Okposo; Bouchard-Neilsen-Bailey; Moulson-Regin-Clutterbuck; Martin-Cizikas-Boulton
D: MacDonald-Hamonic; Visnovsky-Hickey; Carkner-Strait
G: Evgeni Nabokov
The mixing up of lines did seem work out well. Most notably was the second line of Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Frans Nielsen, and Josh Bailey. Nielsen delivered a beautiful little toe drag followed by a perfect shot for a goal. Bouchard was also a much bigger impact on the ice. He looked more comfortable and aggressive on each shift.
What started off as a relatively slow game was picked up in the second period after some big hits and chirping began between the two sides. A hit from John Tavares on Marcus Foligno began the action. What seemed to be the biggest result of the physical play was Cal Clutterbuck putting his hitting shoes on. Clutterbuck made his presence known all over the ice and was no longer what some fans considered “invisible” out there.
The Islanders got their shots up, outshooting the Sabres 44-34. Overall, the Isles played a much stronger team effort but it clearly needs some work. They held a one goal lead three times and also gave up a one goal lead three times. It wasn’t a result of the lines being juggled by Jack Capuano but more so needing to sharpen up in practice. The Islanders walk away with 1 point. Another disappointing loss for the blue and orange and the Sabres gain their first win of the season.