And I’ll tell you, this was a game Buffalo should not have won. And to see this kind of win without one of your best offensive player in Evander Kane and a rookie goaltender in Linus Ullmark in the cage really shows what this team can do.
Speaking of Ullmark, he was definitely the best player on the ice tonight. 29 saves on 30 shots in your 3rd game to get your 2nd win against a really good Islander team, despite not having superstar John Tavares, is a great accomplishment for the 22-year old. The goal Ullmark allowed was not his fault as it was the result of Buffalo failing to clear the puck out of their zone twice.
Now when I say this was a game Buffalo should not have won, I mean it. The Sabres got outshot 30-22 first off. 22 shots is the lowest Buffalo has put up this season (wow, that’s weird to say just thinking about it.)
Breaking down some major stats look like this:
Hits: Sabres 30, Islanders 44
Faceoff Wins: Sabres 25, Islanders 21
Giveaways: Sabres 10, Islanders 12
Takeaways: Sabres 6, Islanders 13
Blocked Shots: Sabres 14, Islanders 24
Penalty Minutes: Zero penalties were taken in the game. Big plus for the Sabres as their penalty kill has not been good to start the season.
New York was just all around better tonight and they still couldn’t get it done. The credit defiantly goes to the coaching staff for keeping Buffalo in it the entire way, Ullmark for his performance, and even the referee for assisting on the Sabres first goal.
On the first goal, Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic attempted to make a pass for Kyle Okposo to tip in the Sabres zone. However the puck hit the ref along the boards and Brian Gionta passed it to Zemgus Girgensons, who got by Hamonic and got the puck to Matt Moulson to tie the game at one. It was the result of a nice pass by Girgensons and excellent determination by Moulson to get the goal.
On the second goal, you can pretty much say David Legwand set up Sam Reinhart with a beautiful pass for Reinhart to score his 2nd goal of the season. When you watch the goal you notice that Mark Pysyk makes a nice short pass to Jamie McGinn, who tipped the pass off the boards to Legwand. This resulted in a 2-on-1 with Legwand and Reinhart as Islanders’ defensemen Marek Zidlicky was caught pinching and left his defensive partner, Brian Strait, all alone to deal with the odd man rush.
Buffalo comes back home for another game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, November 5th. The Sabres will look for their first win against Tampa this season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.