Game Preview: NY Islanders v Buffalo Sabres
The NY Islanders are coming off a 5-4 loss in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Islanders struck first scoring the only goal of the first period when Zach Parise deposited his 20th goal of the season past Columbus goaltender Michael Hutchinson. Johnny Gaudreau evened the score quickly, 4:58 into the second frame when he beat Ilya Sorokin on the power play. Just about 30 seconds later, Brock Nelson regained the lead for the Islanders, however, it was short-lived as the Blue Jackets scored three straight goals on the sticks of Liam Foudy, Kent Johnson, and Eric Robinson. Kyle Palmieri and Nelson's second goal in the third period sent the Islanders and Blue Jackets to overtime and Boone Jenner's 25th goal of the season won the game for Columbus.
Sorokin made 22 saves on 27 shots and the Islanders managed to grab a point in the loss, giving them a three point advantage over the second place wild card where the Pittsburgh Penguins sit.
The Buffalo Sabres defeated the New Jersey Devils on Friday in a high-scoring 5-4 victory in Buffalo. Alex Tuch recorded two goals and an assist for three points and JJ Peterka collected two helpers. Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn collected a goal and an assist each.
The Islanders and Sabres have met twice already thus far this season. The Islanders are 1-0-1 in the season series as they look to close it out tonight with a victory. Hudson Fasching, Casey Cizikas, and Josh Bailey each collected two points in the Islanders' 3-2 win over the Sabres on March 7th. Sorokin made 22 saves on 24 shots.
Players to Watch
Nelson has four goals in his last five games and has been one of the offensive drivers for the Islanders in Mathew Barzal's absence. Fasching has also collected a pair of points in a pair of games against Buffalo.
Tage Thompson has recorded goals in back-to-back games as he continues his quest for a 100-point season.