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Isles fall to Sabres, 4-3, in shootout

Nielsen's three point (2g/1a) night not enough for win

Saturday, 02.4.2012 / 10:57 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Isles fall to Sabres, 4-3, in shootout

After a euphoric overtime win on Friday night in Ottawa, and a .500 record within reach, the Islanders left an important point on the table in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.

“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” Al Montoya said after the loss. “[There were] huge points on the line. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with two points.”

Brad Boyes and Jason Pominville both scored low shots in the shootout, with Boyes netting the game-decider. PA Parenteau and Frans Nielsen, the Islanders shootout specialists, were unable to find the twine.

“We knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” Al Montoya said after the loss. “[There were] huge points on the line. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t come out with two points.”

John Tavares with an intense glare during the Islanders 4-3 SO loss to the Sabres on Satruday night. Click image for complete photo galler.
The Islanders held a 3-1 lead after the first period before allowing Buffalo to claw their way back into the game. In overtime, the Sabres bench took a sloppy penalty for too many men at 2:28 giving the Isles a power play and a chance to win the game. They could not convert with the man advantage.
 
“We had the lead, but we didn’t play a great game,” Captain Mark Streit said. “We had the [overtime] power play, we had lots of scoring chances. Sometimes he [Ryan Miller] didn’t even see the puck coming it just hit him, but credit to him. He played a really good game.”

The Islanders got to Miller early, netting three goals on eight shots. Nielsen, who had a three-point night, opened the scoring by finishing a Michael Grabner feed at 1:39 of the first period. Nielsen had a hand in Josh Bailey’s sixth goal of the season at 16:00 and then buried his second goal 1:17 later to put the Isles up 3-1. 

“I was hoping that we would show up and play better than we did after winning yesterday,” Nielsen said. “We were lucky to be up 3-1. We can’t just sit back when we have the lead.”

Nathan Gerbe got the Sabres on the board at 5:32 of the first period, firing a wrist shot that Al Montoya was only able to partially block. Montoya, who had 16 saves in the first period, lost sight of the puck as it hit his shoulder and floated into the net.

Derek Roy ended his seven-game scoring drought with his 10th goal and put the Sabres within one with 1:19 remaining in the second period. Paul Gaustad eventually completed the comeback at 11:46 of the third period. Miller, who was shaky in the first period, finished the game strong, stopping 35-of-38, including nine in the overtime.

“He’s a world-class goaltender,” Matt Martin said. “He’s going to find ways to win hockey games for them. He did his part.”

There was a scary scene during the third period as Travis Hamonic took a deflected Christian Erhoff slap-shot to the face. Hamonic stayed down on the ice before leaving the game. Jack Capuano said post-game that Hamonic was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

After two games in two nights, the Islanders don’t play again until Tuesday, as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. The game gets under way at 7 p.m.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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