The Sabres and Islanders always play close games and this one was no different. For whatever reason, these two teams are always fun to watch. The games are rarely one-sided and seemingly are always decided by one goal.
Thomas Greiss was the difference in this one as the New York Islanders defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a 2-1 score on New Year’s Eve at the First Niagara Center.
Greiss made 42 saves to give the Islanders the victory, making it three straight losses for the Sabres.
Jack Eichel scored the lone goal for Buffalo on the power play, something the team hadn’t done in a long time. The power play goal snapped an 0-for-24 drought with the man advantage.
“[The power play] was a little bit better than what we’ve seen last games. Whether it’s traffic or just getting shots, we have to do something to put it in. The 5-on-3, too, we still haven’t scored on one of those. That’s killing us.” – Ryan O’Reilly
The Sabres trailed 2-0 in the third period, but it’s not unlike the Islanders to give up late leads, and after Eichel’s goal, everybody was thinking the same thing. Except, that was the end of the scoring.
It was another game this season in which the Sabres were in it, played well, but just couldn’t finish.
“Yeah, did a lot of things you want to do in the game. In particular, the power plays in the first period, the shot volume was there, had good looks, had net-fronts, had pucks lying in the crease. We had a ton of opportunities tonight, we just weren’t able to put them home. I think we just want to keep playing that way.” – Dan Bylsma
The talent is there. The players are there. Things are looking in the right direction, but the production hasn’t been there. There have been no problems with Chad Johnson or Linus Ullmark in goal, but the lack of goals has hurt the Sabres.
They have been scoring some big goals, but then the other team counters to take the lead back. This team is close, but games like this have become too common and are frustrating to watch. Still, the team has been better than last year, but still have a chance of finishing among the bottom of the league once again.