The Buffalo Sabres came into tonight’s game looking to break their three-game losing streak.
In the first period, the Sabres and Islanders were getting adaquate chances in both zones. Buffalo was the benefactor of more offensive chances, but they were unable to get any pucks into the net.
One note from the first period, defenseman Alexander Sulzer suffered a lower-body injury and did not return to the game.
Heading into the second period, momentum seemed to be split 50/50 but the Sabres needed more, as they have struggled terribly in the second period.
Tonight, the Sabres 2nd-period struggles would be no different.
Throughout the first half of the period, the Islanders controlled the play in the Sabres zone and had most of the team on their heels.
As the period carried on, it looked as if Buffalo would prevail unscathed, but late in the period that would change.
Mark Streit would put home his 4th goal of the season, to put New York up 1-0, at 17:51.
A minute and five seconds later, Michael Grabner would head the opposite way with a Christian Ehrhoff giveaway and score his 7th goal of the season, on a breakaway.
With all the momentum on the Islanders side, the Sabres were out of the game.
Four-minutes into the third period, John Tavares stripped Andrej Sekera of the puck and then proceeded to embarass the Sabres defense, in route to his 12th goal of the season.
The Sabres would continue through the third period, playing uninspired hockey throughout.
Late in the third period, frustration finally boiled over for Cody Hodgson, as he slashed Kyle Okposo, leading to an Islanders power play.
It would be on that power play that New York would score the game’s final goal, from Colin McDonald at 19:02, his third of the season.
With less than thirty seconds left in the game, Marcus Foligno ran into Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, drawing the ire of New York.
The Islanders would retailiate by running into Ryan Miller, almost leading to a line brawl with four seconds left.
With this loss, the Sabres are currently 15th in the Eastern Conference, and 29th in the NHL.
The Sabres take the ice again Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game will be on MSG and the puck drops shortly after 7:30.