Survive and Advance Sabres 2 Islanders 1
Different head coach, same result.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers both scored and Ryan Miller made 30 saves as the Sabres spoiled interim head coach Doug Weight’s coaching debut 2-1 on Tuesday Night.
Weight was appointed interim head coach for the game as head coach Jack Capuano dealt with a flu that has ravaged his lineup in the past three games. Evgeni Nabokov missed his third straight game dealing with the illness.
An all too similar start to the game forced the Islanders into an early 1-0 hole. Tyler Myers opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. After a initial stop on Derek Roy, Myers found the rebound and snapped it over a prone Kevin Poulin. For the second straight game, the Islanders fell behind within the first 90 seconds.
Vanek scored the other Sabres goal 3:41 into the second after a terrible line change by the Islanders. As Matt Martin went to the bench hobbled over, Brian Rolston decided to grab his fallen stick instead of joining the rush into his defensive zone. Derek Roy found a streaking Vanek who made no mistake for his 22nd goal of the season. The Sabres top line of Jason Pominville (2 assists), Roy, and Vanek combined for five points.
Frans Nielsen broke the shutout streak of nearly two full games with 5:08 remaining in the third. Assists came from Poulin and P.A Parenteau.
The Islanders turned up the pressure after cutting the lead to 2-1 but Miller made sure the Sabres lead held up from there. He stoned Matt Moulson with just over four minutes remaining on a fantastic reaction save. After some struggles during the middle of the season after returning from a concussion, Miller has kept the Sabres right in the muddled Eastern Conference playoff race.
With two consecutive victories, the Sabres have 59 point moving 1 point ahed of the Islanders with only 22 games remaining in the regular season.
A game after Poulin was pulled 95 seconds into the game after allowing two goals on five shots against the Ottawa Senators, he was able to keep the Islanders in the game with 35 saves.
The teams met four times this season, with each team winning two games. The Islanders received an overtime-loss point in their last meeting on Long island.