The Buffalo Sabres entered today’s season finale with little to gain, but they were certainly looking to finish this tumultuous season on a winning note.
Buffalo came out on fire, playing heavy hockey and finishing every check. It was clear that the Sabres came to play on Fan Appreciation Night.
This was a good sign for goaltender Connor Knapp, who would be making his first NHL start, following his first NHL appearance yesterday in Boston.
Jamie McBain would open up scoring for the Sabres at 10:27 of the first period. McBain took the puck on a coast-to-coast rush, and tapped a beauty passed Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson. This would be McBain’s 6th goal of the season.
Following the first twenty minutes, the Sabres would be outshooting the Islanders, 11-6.
In the second period, Buffalo wouldn’t take their foot off the gas pedal. Matt Ellis would put the Sabres up 2-0, at 7:23, with his 5th goal of the season.
Unfortunately, the cracks in Buffalo’s lead were showing.
At 16:37 of the 2nd, Anders Lee would score his 8th goal of the season, on the power play, to get the Islanders on the board.
Lee would tie the game at 17 seconds in the third period to tie the game, his 2nd of the night and 9th of the season.
Buffalo was clearly reeling at this point, but were continuing to pour on the pressure.
Torrey Mitchell would give the Sabres a 3-2 lead, at 9:51 in the third, when he tipped a Rasmus Ristolainen shot ever-so-slightly. This would be Mitchell’s 2nd goal of the season, and first as a Sabre.
The Sabres lead would not last long, as Brock Nelson would score his 14th of the season, at 16:16, to tie the score again.
With their 3 goals scored, the Buffalo Sabres officially become the lowest-scoring offense in NHL history (post ’67-expansion) with 150 goals.
The Buffalo Sabres finish the 2013-14 NHL season with a record of 21-51-10 record with 52 points.