Patrick Kaleta made his return to the lineup as Paul Byron was scratched.
Michael Grabner quickly put the Islanders on top with his 22nd goal just 40 seconds in.
Jochen Hecht took a shot that found its way past Mikko Koskinen, tying the game at one. It was Hecht’s 9th goal of the season. 56 seconds later, the Sabres took the lead on Drew Staffords’s 21st goal of the season.
John Tavares put home a rebound as Andrej Sekera was down on the ice hurt. Regardless, the Islanders tied the game at two.
Buffalo bounced back with a tic-tac-toe passing play that Stafford completed with his second goal of the day, giving the Sabres a 3-2 lead.
In the second period, Nathan Gerbe deked past the Islanders defenseman, and scored to put the Sabres up 4-2. Gerbe’s goal forced the Islanders to make a goaltending change. Koskinen made 10 of 14 saves after being replaced by Al Montoya.
With just over a minute remaining in the second period, Blake Comeau’s shot trickled through Miller’s legs and into the net, cutting the Buffalo lead to 4-3. Grabner ripped a shot past Miller early in the third to tie the game at four.
Tyler Myers took a shot from the point that beat Montoya, to give the Sabres a 5-4 lead. The Islanders battled back again, tying the game at five with a two man advantage. Still on the power play, New York scored another goal, giving them a 6-5 lead.
Stafford completed the hat trick, tying the game at six. It was Stafford’s second hat trick in three games and his fourth of the season. Grabner recorded his own hat trick and gave the Islanders a wild 7-6 victory over Buffalo.