Islanders top Sabres in season-ending shootout

Cory Wright | Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 8:50 PM

Brock Nelson helped the New York Islanders end their 2013-14 season on a winning note, scoring the tying goal late in the third period and the game-decider in the shootout of a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night at First Niagara Center.

Anders Nilsson turned aside all three Sabres shooters in the breakaway competition, as the Islanders rallied from a pair of deficits for their third straight win to end the season.

“These guys battled and got three wins on the road trip,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “I told them after the game I was proud of the way they battled for one another and there will be a lot of healthy competition moving forward.”

Anders Lee (two goals), Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey (two assists each) dug the Islanders out of an early 2-0 deficit. Lee put the Islanders comeback in motion with a power-play goal in the final four minutes of the second period, crashing the net hard before banging a loose puck past Knapp.

The Islanders rookie then tied the score 17 seconds into the third period, beating Knapp with a backhander from the left faceoff dot. The off-speed shot fooled the Sabres goaltender before catching the far side of the net.

“You always want to end on a good note,” Lee said. “It was just a good road win. We played pretty simple for the last 40 minutes. That helped us get going because we were pretty sluggish to start.”

Torrey Mitchell had put the Sabres ahead 3-2 midway through the third period with a deflection past Nilsson. Then, with four minutes to play in the frame, Nelson gloved a puck in the neutral zone, skated into the Sabres zone and snapped a high shot past Connor Knapp’s glove to force overtime.

“I tried to use their d-man as a screen,” Nelson said. “[Evgeni Nabokov] always bugs me to shoot high glove and to shoot it hard. That was one of those times that it went in.”

Nilsson made 36 saves, including a huge skate save on Tyler Ennis during a wraparound opportunity. The win was Nilsson’s third in a row.

The game further cemented the Islanders' solid second-half road record, as the Isles posted their 17th road win in 24 tries. The Islanders finished the season with a 21-18-2 road record.

NOTES: Frans Nielsen set a career-high with his 33rd assist on Sunday, establishing new highs in goals (25), assists and points (58) this season… Josh Bailey also set career highs in assists (30) and points (38)… Travis Hamonic led the Islanders with 27:35 TOI.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
10:27BUF Jamie McBain (6) ASST: Connor Knapp (1) 1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
07:23BUF Matt Ellis (4) ASST: Marcus Foligno (12), Jake McCabe (1) 2 - 0 BUF
16:37NYI PPG - Anders Lee (8) ASST: Frans Nielsen (32), Josh Bailey (29) 2 - 1 BUF
3rd Period
00:17NYI Anders Lee (9) ASST: Josh Bailey (30), Frans Nielsen (33) 2 - 2 Tie
09:51BUF Torrey Mitchell (2) ASST: Rasmus Ristolainen (2), Henrik Tallinder (6) 3 - 2 BUF
16:16NYI Brock Nelson (14) ASST: Travis Hamonic (15) 3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
1BUFTyler Ennis - Missed
2NYIFrans Nielsen - Save
3BUFCody Hodgson - Save
4NYIBrock Nelson - Goal
5BUFVille Leino - Save
Shootout Summary
RNDBuffalo SabresNew York Islanders
1Tyler EnnisFrans Nielsen
2Cody HodgsonBrock Nelson
3Ville Leino
Three Stars of the Game
Anders Lee
Anders Lee
G: 2Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 17:33
Jamie McBain
Jamie McBain
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 25:41
Matt Ellis
Matt Ellis
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 8:39
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:22BUF John Scott  Fighting (maj) against  Justin Johnson
02:22NYI Justin Johnson  Fighting (maj) against  John Scott
08:22NYI Justin Johnson  Interference against  Rasmus Ristolainen
16:17BUF Drew Stafford  Interference against  Matt Donovan
2nd Period
02:27BUF Zenon Konopka  Fighting (maj) against  Brett Gallant
02:27NYI Brett Gallant  Fighting (maj) against  Zenon Konopka
05:07NYI Matt Carkner  Roughing against  Cory Conacher
15:15BUF Nicolas Deslauriers  Roughing against  Matt Carkner
3rd Period
02:03BUF Nicolas Deslauriers  Roughing against  Scott Mayfield
02:03NYI Scott Mayfield  Roughing against  Nicolas Deslauriers
04:07BUF Nicolas Deslauriers  Fighting (maj) against  Scott Mayfield
04:07NYI Scott Mayfield  Fighting (maj) against  Nicolas Deslauriers
OT Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/20/2
Faceoff Wins3134
Blocked Shots1016
Penalty Minutes2121
3T. HamonicD0122027:35
7M. CarknerD0000217:37
12J. BaileyR0211022:31
13C. McDonaldR00-20015:50
14T. HickeyD0022026:28
17M. MartinL00-22015:27
18R. StromeR0003020:40
24K. CzuczmanD00-32017:32
27A. LeeL2006017:33
29B. NelsonL1012019:15
42S. MayfieldD00-20714:07
43M. HalmoL000008:09
46M. DonovanD00-12024:14
49J. JohnsonR00-1075:43
51F. NielsenC0212021:34
53C. CizikasC00-10016:31
56J. PerssonL0001016:28
59B. GallantL000056:46
45A. Nilsson3639.92365:00
3M. PysykD0000017:14
4J. McBainD1013025:41
6M. WeberD0020021:02
17T. MitchellC1013016:18
19C. HodgsonC0004018:21
20H. TallinderD01-11024:29
21D. StaffordR00-16222:41
23V. LeinoL0002018:03
24Z. KonopkaC001058:58
28Z. GirgensonsC0003020:14
29J. McCabeD0110016:25
32J. ScottL001058:43
37M. EllisL102308:39
44N. DeslauriersL00-12912:42
55R. RistolainenD01-13023:18
63T. EnnisC00-17019:36
82M. FolignoL0111018:51
88C. ConacherC0001013:27
49C. Knapp2225.88064:56