Hello from Buffalo. Tonight the Isles go head to head with the Buffalo Sabres in the season finale. They need a win tonight to keep their hopes of not playing the Pens in the first round alive.
Isles starting the Boyes-Tavares-Moulson line, with Hamonic and MacDonald on defense.
First Period: It did not start off the way many had hoped it would for the Islanders. The Isles were again sloppy to start the game, which allowed the Sabres to create a few more opportunities than should have been allowed. Kevin Porter had two golden chances on Nabokov, but was turned away both times. The Islanders did start to pick things up as the period went on, but continued to give Buffalo chances to work with. Each team traded power play chances. Matt Moulson missed a beauty of chance right in front of the net, and Drew Stafford allowed a centering feed pass go right by him when he was all alone in front of the net. Scoreless after one, and Buffalo outshot the Islanders 10-9.
Second Period: A goal by Brian Flynn 3:29 into the period has put the Sabres ahead of the Islanders. Another not so great performance by the Isles, who squandered away a power play opportunity that included 54 seconds of five on three play. Matt Carkner and John Scott dropped the gloves at 12:03. Michael Grabner had a scoring chance for the Isles late in the period, speeding past the Sabres defense and getting a mini breakaway. He was turned aside by Ryan Miller. Isles outshot Buffalo 9-5 in the period, but trail 1-0.
Third Period: The Islanders can thank whoever was smiling down on them, when Ryan Miller made a mental gaffe of epic proportions that gave Keith Aucoin an easy goal to tie the game. The Sabres had been buzzing for a majority of the period, at one point hemming the Isles in their own zone for an extended period of time. New York had several chances to jump ahead. McDonald fanned on feed in the slot from Aucoin, and Bailey had a similar chance that he didn’t convert on. The Islanders outshot the Sabres 8-6 in the third and 26-21 through all three periods.