"It's not a great scenario, obviously, John is a huge engine and plays every single situation we've asked", NY coach Doug Weight said on Friday. "It was a great battle and found a way to get the big goal. I've certainly been there", Anders Lee told Newsday, referring to his missing last year's playoff run with a broken leg sustained in the final week of the season. His goal 42 seconds into overtime lifted the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the Islanders on December 16 in western NY.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots as the Islanders pulled four points behind Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders struggled to create scoring chances throughout the second and third periods and twice surrendered one-goal leads before Lee's goals.
The Buffalo Sabres take the ice with the New York Islanders in an NHL hockey bout on Sunday. Clutterbuck beat Robin Lehner short-side glove with a quick snap from outside the right dot. In 81 games as a rookie, Eichel led the team with 24 goals and was second with 56 points. NY collected points in each of its last seven trips to Buffalo (4-0-3) and 12 of 13 overall encounters (7-1-5) after splitting the first two meetings of the season. The islanders would get the win 2-1. The Islanders didn't get an immediate response - despite a Ho-Sang and Beauvillier two-on-one - but did retake the lead four minutes later, with Lee burying his 30th of the season at 9:19. The puck squirted into the lower left circle, from where Lee backhanded a shot in for his team-leading 31st goal.
"Sometimes you've got to get the bounces". "When you lose a player like Johnny, you've got to keep it simple and play north-south".
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Lehner inadvertently began the play by casually swatting a shot directed at the Buffalo goal.
"It's pretty incredible", Lee said. "I got some good sleep, a couple of days off, so I feel really fresh right now". "Credit to them and fortunate for me".
The Islanders filled Tavares' roster spot by calling up centre Connor Jones from the minors. Jones skated 11:33 on a line centering Stephen Gionta and Cal Clutterbuck, recording two shots and three hits. Chimera, who received the second assist on the play, recorded his 400th National Hockey League point. "I can't really say much else, but it's like a dream", Jones said.
"It was an awesome day".