A Lonely Island-Sabres vs Islanders Game Recap, 4/2/17

FINAL NYI 4-2 BUF

GOALS

1st Period

NYI Clutterbuck Assist: Leddy

2nd Period

BUF Kane Assist: Smith

NYI Ho-Sang Assist: Seidenberg

3rd Period

BUF Girgensons Assists: Moulson, Carrier

NYI Lee Unassisted

NYI Lee Unassisted

SHOTS

BUF 37

NYI 26

POWERPLAYS

BUF 0/3

NYI 0/1

HITS

BUF 16

NYI 24

The Sabres lineup was bolstered by the return of Rasmus Ristolainen on Fan Appreciation Day. Buffalo faced the task of defeating the returning Jaroslav Halak who has been wrongfully imprisoned in Bridgeport Sound. The line of Eichel, Reinhart and Foligno gave the Sabres their first scoring chances, first when an Eichel pass skipped the stick of Foligno and then a one-timer by Jack that was stopped by Halak.

Cal Clutterbuck scored the first goal of the game going up high on Robin Lehner’s glove side. This was a beautiful shot and just a mental error by Lehner not putting up the glove.

The Islanders got the first powerplay opportunity of the game when Jack Eichel took a cross checking penalty. There wouldn’t be much action in this two minutes as NYI’s powerplay fell to 1/21 on their last twenty one chances.

Buffalo struggled mightily in the offensive zone to get shots on the net. They had their opportunities but the Islanders defense proved strong in the opening 20.

Carrier nearly beat Halak two minutes into the 2nd but was tripped up drawing the Sabres first powerplay.

C.J. Smith had a strong start to the second period. He has very good vision and puck movement skills and that was evident today.

Eichel once more got tripped up for a penalty, sending the Sabres to their 2nd powerplay of the period.

After the powerplay ended C.J. Smith got a pass from Kane that he send back to Kane for the tying goal. Smith earned his first career NHL point and became at least the 2rd Sabre in two years to earn a point in their first game with the club, joining Hudson Fasching and Jack Eichel.

The Islanders came right back with a goal of their own when Mario Lemieux Josh Ho-Sang got a breakaway and nearly decked Robin out of his pads.

Buffalo scored the tying goal just over 5 minutes into the 3rd when Matt Moulson fed Zemgus with an incredible pass which Girgensons caught with the tip of his blade. The Islanders came back with two 2 on 1s but each was turned aside by Lehner.

The Islanders regained the lead after the puck bounced off an Islander and then toward Lehner. Robin swatted the puck out of mid air right to Anders Lee who scored from the slot.

Lee scored again minutes later after a dreadful giveaway by McCabe behind his own net. He tried passing but he barely got the puck and it instead floated toward the NYI forward who backhanded the puck past Lehner.

The Islanders held on for the 4-2 victory moving four points out of a playoff spot.

It is with that I refer to my favorite Imagine Dragons lyric: “The path to Heaven runs through miles of clouded Hell”.

Quick Thoughts:

  • I cannot wait till I can write one of these for a playoff game.
  • Halak has a really weird style. He kind of just throws his body around.
  • We might’ve found something really good in C.J. Smith.
  • Lehner did not seem motivated today.

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