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Islanders 5, Sabres 2

A two-goal effort from Michael Grabner helped lift the New York Islanders to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres for the second time in less than a week

Friday, 01.21.2011 / 11:25 PM / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Islanders 5, Sabres 2
Michael Grabner remained red-hot , scoring two goals in the Islanders 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night at HSBC Arena. While he scored twice, the rookie forward was completely unselfish in his second effort, trying to set up Kyle Okposo and Travis Hamonic.

Before taking a shot of his own, Grabner passed to Okposo in the slot, but his shot went wide. A few seconds later, Grabner recovered the puck and passed to Hamonic on top of the left faceoff circle, but the puck didn’t sit well on his stick and deflected wide. Then, with two seconds left on the clock and Grabner at the top of the crease, he passed the puck into the net to give the Islanders a 5-2 win. It would have been Okposo’s first goal of the season and Hamonic’s first NHL goal.

“I tried to set up Okie (Okposo),” Grabner said. “We talked about it before during the faceoff, joking around to get him his first or Hammer (Hamonic), so I tried to set them up, but in the end, I had to do it myself.”

Patrick Lalime #40 of the Buffalo Sabres makes a pad save on Michael Grabner #40 of the New York Islanders at HSBC Arena on January 21, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Grabner also opened the scoring, getting them on the board first for the first time in their last nine games. At 7:26, the forward won the battle for the puck behind the goal and passed to the paint. In the commotion, the puck deflected off of Sabres defenseman Tyler Myer's skate. Grabner has now scored five goals in his last four games.

“It was a lucky bounce, but it was nice to get that first goal for once and play with the lead,” Grabner said. “Schrempie (Rob Schremp) made a good play and I went to the net. We talked about our starts being real slow over the last couple weeks and we wanted to get out and get the first goal and play with the lead for once and have the other team scramble back.”

But the Sabres tried to make it interesting late in the third. Nathan Gerbe scored two goals in a five second span (16:38, 16:43) to end Nathan Lawson and Kevin Poulin’s joint shutout effort.

“It’s too bad,” Poulin said about letting in the two goals so late into the effort. “But they (the Sabres) worked hard and they didn’t give up. They were two good goals, two great goals.”

Nonetheless, the Islanders goaltenders did a good job. Lawson made the start and saved all 10 shots he faced before suffering an injury to his left knee. Lawson completed the first period, but rookie goaltender Poulin came in to relieve him and made 26 saves on 28 shots. The Islanders were outshot 38-29.

“Unfortunately Laws (Lawson) got hurt, but Kevin (Poulin) came in and did the job for us,” Islanders interim head coach Jack Capuano said. “I mean, they ramped it up. We knew they were going to ramp it up. If we let the puck do the work, we were going to get some odd man rushes and we capitalized.”

PA Parenteau #15 of the New York Islanders scores a second period goal past Patrick Lalime #40 of the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on January 21, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jack Hillen put himself on the scoreboard for the second time this season. Coming up the middle on an odd-man rush, Hillen shot a smooth pass from Blake Comeau and then put in his own rebound at 14:33 to make it to 4-0.

In the second period, John Tavares was coming up the right side of the boards when he was caught in traffic, but he found PA Parenteau wide open in the slot. Parenteau’s goal would lift the Islanders 3-0 and later became the game-winning goal.

Midway through the first period (10:30), Tavares won the faceoff and as the Islanders cycled, Matt Moulson deflected a slap shot from Andrew MacDonald at the blueline to edge the puck past Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. As a result, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff made the decision to pull Miller, a decision he was unhappy about.

“That’s what we talk about, getting pucks to the net,” Capuano said. “Even the second shot, the faceoff goal that we scored there, you get bodies and pucks to the net, good things happen. That’s an area that we haven’t done a good job of lately, getting pucks there and tonight we were fortunate to get that bounce.”

After defeating the Sabres 5-3 on Monday and again on Friday (5-2), the Islanders have one day before facing the Sabres for the third time in nine days. The Sabres will return to Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.

Islanders lineups
Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 15 PA Parenteau
40 Michael Grabner - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
57 Blake Comeau - 44 Rob Schremp - 12 Josh Bailey
17 Matt Martin - 28 Zenon Konopka - 37 Jeremy Colliton

Defensemen
47 Andrew MacDonald - 36 Travis Hamonic
24 Radek Martinek - 38 Jack Hillen
42 Dylan Reese - 8 Bruno Gervais

Goaltenders
52 Nathan Lawson
60 Kevin Poulin

Scratches
14 Trevor Gillies
39 Rick DiPietro

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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