Breaking News:

Islanders 4, Sabres 1

The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Goals from right wingers Kyle Okposo and Cal Clutterbuck and centers Frans Nielsen and Ryan Strome lifted the Islanders to a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres in a battle of NHL bottom-dwellers on Saturday night.

The Islanders (26-34-9, 59 points), who have the worst home record in the league, managed to take two points against the worst team in the NHL. Buffalo has 46 points in 67 games (19-40-8).

In a game with two teams that are building for the future, 11 rookies were featured. The Islanders started nine and the Sabres sported two on a team that has scored the fewest amount of goals in the league at 1.89 per game.

The Sabres' lack of offensive cohesiveness was in full effect on special teams, going 0-for-6 on the power play while taking on an Islanders squad that has given up more goals than any other team.

Nielsen put the Islanders ahead 3 1/2 minutes into the game after a handful of Sabres chances when his slap shot from the left circle snuck under the arm of Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth. It was the Islanders' second shot of the game.

As the Islanders' penalty kill stymied three man-advantage opportunities for the Sabres in the first period, New York's first power play found success with 2:30 left in the period. Okposo was the beneficiary of some quick passing. He got a look 10 feet in front of goal, slotting a low shot past Enroth's left post and in. It was Okposo's 27th goal of the season.

The Islanders dominated possession and chances in the second period, but the tilted time on the puck did not result in a goal or even an overwhelming advantage of shots on goal (14-10).

Entering the third period trailing, the Sabres are 2-32-4 this season, but center Tyler Ennis pulled one back 56 seconds into the third when he stuffed a spinning shot into the right side of Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson's net. Nilsson finished with 33 saves.

The Islanders quickly regained their two-goal lead less than a minute later after Ennis' score when left winger Matt Martin sent Strome in alone on Enroth, who made 34 saves. The rookie's breakaway was initially stopped by the right pad of Enroth, but Strome shoved in the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.

Clutterbuck added a bouncing, back-handed empty-netter with just over two minutes left to put the game away.

NOTES: The Sabres lost five of their last six games. The Islanders dropped five of their last seven. These are two of the bottom four teams in the NHL. ... The Islanders are 9-17-8 (29 points) at home this season. That is the worst home record for any team in the league and the team's worst home output since 2000-01 (26 points). ... Sabres G Michael Neuvirth stopped a career-high 51 shots in a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Thursday night. ... Islanders C Anders Lee is enjoying his time in the NHL since his call-up from the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Coming into Saturday night, he has nine points in his first eight games.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (0)