With three first period goals, it looked as if the Islanders were on their way to a convincing win over Buffalo. After all, the Sabres had never led at any point in the season series, having lost both previous games.
Saturday turned out to be different as the Sabres clawed their way back and won by way of the shootout. Brad Boyes and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout as Ryan Miller stopped both Islanders shooters to give the Sabres a 4-3 win.
With the victory, Miller became the Sabres winningest goaltender in franchise history, passing Dominik Hasek in wins.
“I was really excited in coming in as a young player and looking up to Dominik Hasek,” Miller said.
Turnovers hurt the Sabres early on, as they led to a few Islanders goals.
The Islanders got on the board quickly, scoring just 1:39 into the opening period. Frans Nielsen’s 8th goal of the season snapped Ryan Miller’s shutout streak at 122:30.
However, the Sabres battled back and Nathan Gerbe tallied his 5th of the year, tying the game at one.
Josh Bailey gave New York the lead just as his team returned to full strength. Nielsen earned his second goal of the night and third point and gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Although the Sabres outshot the Isles 15-8 in the first period, it was the Islanders who capitalized on their scoring chances.
Derek Roy scored the lone goal of the second period, cutting the lead in half and bringing the Sabres within one.
The Sabres applied consistent pressure early in the third period, and eventually, it paid off. Paul Gaustad beat Montoya to tie the game at three.
In overtime the Sabres took a too many men penalty, resulting in a power play opportunity for the Islanders. The penalty killers did their job and managed to block shot after shot and hung on to force a shootout.
Miller stopped 35 of 38 shots, earning the win.
Al Montoya stopped 34 of 37, but couldn’t make a stop in the shootout.
The Sabres will head home and begin a four game homestand Wednesday night against Boston. That game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.