Islanders ‘Grab’ner two points from Sabres in 5-2 victory
New York, NY - The New York Islanders (15-24-7) kept saying how they wanted to get off to a better start, how they wanted to score the first goal, how they wanted to be more aggressive around the net. Well they did all of those things in their 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres (21-21-5) in hockey action on Friday night.
The main reason for their victory on this night was the play of Michael Grabner who has been on a major roll as of late. Playing with speed and confidence the winger was able to net two goals that led the Islanders to the two points.
Grabner (13) began the night tallying the first Islanders goal at the 7:26 mark of the first period. The winger was able to net a 2 foot deflection, which was assisted by Rob Schremp (11) for the 1-0 lead.
New York would strike again in that frame as Matt Moulson (15) was able to tip-in a 21 foot shot, that was assisted by Andrew MacDonald (11) and Travis Hamonic (eight) at the 10:30 mark, making the score 2-0. Sadly for Islanders fans who have seen so many of their stars go down due to injury, had to watch keeper Nathan Lawson go down with a left leg injury after the first period.
With keeper Rick DiPietro quasi on the shelf right now, the only keeper that the Islanders could turn too was rookie Kevin Poulin. It makes one wonder if the people behind the scenes at Nassau Coliseum will make a trade for a keeper. It would be a crazy move if they do make it considering they had Dwayne Roloson on the roster not that long ago.
Thankfully the Islanders offense would not be hindered by the injury as the team would continue to skate well and press their offensive momentum. In the second period P.A. Parenteau (12) would net a wicked wrist shot that was set up by John Tavares (16) at the 14:35 mark, which gave the Isles the 3-0 lead.
New York only added to their offense in the third period when at the 14:33 mark Jack Hillen (2) wristed home an eight foot shot that was assisted by Blake Comeau (17) and Rob Schremp (12) for the 4-0 lead. But before the Islanders could get too comfortable with their lead Buffalo was able to strike back with two goals in five seconds of play.
It was thanks to the play of center Nathan Gerbe, who was able to put the Sabres right back into the hockey game. Gerbe (4) netted his first goal of the game on a 20 foot backhander at the 16:48 mark of the third period, with the assist to Mike Weber (4) to cut the Isles lead to 4-1.
Gerbe (5) would strike with a 14 foot snap shot at the 16:43 mark, as Mike Grier (eight) set the center up for the second Buffalo goal of the game. But before the Buffalo fans could get two excited the Islanders would settle down and strike one last time.
It would be the speed and aggressive play of Grabner, who would stride right to the cage and wrist home a 14 foot shot that would give the Islanders the 5-2 victory. The winger was set up by returning Kyle Okposo on his first NHL points of the season.
In the cage Kevin Poulin would finish the night with 26 saves in the victory for the Islanders, while Patrick Lalime would finish the night with 16 saves in the cage for Buffalo.
These two teams will meet up again in this home-and-home series as the Islanders will now host the Sabres for a 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon face-off.