Islanders chase second straight road win vs. Sabres
ISLANDERS (6-11-4) at SABRES (13-9-1)
TV: MSG PLUS, MSG-B
New York Islanders 2-6-2; Buffalo 5-4-1
This is the first of four meetings between these clubs. The Isles took three of four games in the 2010-11 regular-season series.
The Sabres remain in the thick of the Northeast Division race despite entering their eighth consecutive game without franchise goalie Ryan Miller
due to post-concussion symptoms. The Islanders have struggled in the early going, but will look to build off their first road win of the season earned with a 3-2 decision over the Devils this past Saturday.
Nothing has come easy for the Islanders this season and Saturday's nail-biting affair against New Jersey was no different. While New York appeared destined for the 3-2 win in the closing seconds of regulation, the Islanders were able to rest easy only after a video review determined that the Devils' Zach Parise's goal with 2.1 seconds left would be overturned because of a distinct kicking motion on the play.
Coach Jack Capuano was happy to finally get his first road win of the season, no matter how dramatic it was.
"I think we played pretty well," Capuano told newyorkislanders.com. "It was a situation where both goaltenders stole the show. There were a lot of odd-man rushes and a lot of breakdowns. We were fortunate that we won the game."
With losses in four of its last six games, Buffalo is a team looking to kick it up a notch as it closes out an inconsistent and injury-filled month of November. But the Sabres did manage a 5-1 victory in their last game against Washington on Saturday, despite missing nine of their regular starters from the lineup.
Forward Luke Adam
scored twice, rookie forward Zack Kassian
notched his first NHL goal and goalie Jhonas Enroth
made 26 saves in his seventh straight start since Miller went down against the Bruins on Nov. 12.
"It was great to get through this one without any injuries," captain Jason Pominville
said following the win. "It's fun to see guys come up, be prepared, and be ready to play."
Forward Michael Grabner has 2 goals and 4 points over his last four games for the Islanders. … Pominville is averaging a point per game in 21 career games vs. New York.
New York goalie Evgeni Nabokov (groin) and defenseman Mark Eaton (sprained MCL) are on injured reserve. … Miller remains out indefinitely for Buffalo with post-concussion symptoms. Other Sabres on the injured list include defenseman Robyn Regher (upper body) and forward Drew Stafford
(lower body), who both left Friday's game vs. Columbus. Forwards Tyler Ennis
(ankle), Cody McCormick
(upper body), Brad Boyes
(right leg), Patrick Kaleta
(lower body) and defensemen Tyler Myers
(broken wrist) and Mike Weber
(upper body) are also injured for Buffalo.
The Islanders are last in the League with a 1.95 goals-per-game average.
With the Islanders boasting one of the youngest rosters in the League, Capuano is allowed to experiment with switching some of his player's positions according to his team's needs. On Monday, newyorkislanders.com reporter Dyan LeBourdais wrote that rookie forward David Ullstrom could move from left wing to center for Tuesday's game.
"It will be fun to go back to center if that happens, but I'm comfortable playing both wing and center. I'm real excited for (Tuesday)," Ullstrom said.