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Sabres 4, Islanders 3 (SO): Postgame Wrap-Up

The Recap: The Islanders blew a late game lead and fell in the shootout, 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres.

Frans Nielsen kicked off the scoring 13:11 into the first period. A quick wrister beat Ryan Miller high glove side to give the Islanders the 1-0 lead. The Sabres evened up the score early in the second period, courtesy of a flukey goal by Tyler Ennis. Matt Martin answered right back a little over a minute later to put the Islanders back in front 2-1.

Thomas Vanek tied the game right back up a minute after Martin’s goals, but in the third Matt Moulson scored to give the Islanders their third lead of the night. It would not stick, as Marcus Foligno tied things up with 2:01 left in the third period.

Overtime did not produce a winner and in the shootout the Sabres prevailed to get the 4-3 win.

The Good:

– After have a combined 35 shots in their last two games, the Islanders had 44 shots against the Sabres. The team’s lack of shots hurt them against Nashville and Chicago and it was something they knew needed to be addressed.

“We wanted to get more pucks on the net,” John Tavares said. “It’s no secrete we didn’t have too many on the road. I think at home you feel more comfortable. We felt a little more rested today and we had some good opportunities. It’s something that has to continue. I think more often than not you put up 40 chances, I like our chances.”

– Jack Capuano’s change in lines seemed to give the Isles offense a bit of a kick start tonight. Michael Grabner excelled on the top line with Tavares and Kyle Okposo. The trio created several scoring chances and both Tavares and Okposo liked how they played.

Tavares: “Grabby creates a lot of space with his speed. We had some chances.”
Okposo: “I thought Grabby did a good job with us. I thought we generated a lot of opportunities and we just have to burry. And they’re going to start to go in.”

– Pierre-Marc Bouchard also had a strong game on the second line with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey. Nielsen and Bailey have proven to be a deadly line early this season, and adding Bouchard helped create several added chances for that line. Bouchard had an assist on the Nielsen goal and was on the ice for the Moulson power play goal.

– Cal Clutterbuck also had a strong game. He led the team with eight hits in the game and even fulfilled every Isles fans dream of playing on a line with Matt Martin.

The Bad: 

– The obvious bad here is the Islanders blowing a lead late in the game. It’s bad when you squander a lead to a good team, but to allowing a Sabres’ team that did not have a win coming int the game to stay a live in a contest is rough.

The Islanders should have had the win tonight, especially with the Sabres coming off a 2-1 loss to Minnesota the night before. The Islanders kept Buffalo in the game and the Sabres made the Islanders pay.

Moral of the story: Don’t let you’re opponent stay in a game.

– In their own zone, the Islanders did not play well. They had trouble clearing the puck, even in the periods they played well. Defensively, It is something that will need to be addressed before Thursday’s meeting with the Edmonton Oilers.

Next Game:  Thursday, October 18, 2013 Vs.

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About

Christian Arnold Covers the New York Islanders for New York Hockey Journal, as well as contributes to SNY's Islanders Point Blank. He also founded Islanders Hockey Blog back in 2009 and has written for various online publications.

@CA_NYHockey

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