Four nights ago, the Islanders tricked the Sabres on Halloween night with a shutout. Unfortunately for them, the Islanders were unable to repeat their Halloween night performance, falling to the Buffalo Sabres, 3-0 at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
Buffalo benefitted from a pair of powerplay goals by Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek, coupled by a strong performance in net by Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller.
Miller, who the Islanders chased from the net on Halloween night, was perfect stopping all 24 shots the Isles threw at him
Just seconds after Kyle Okposo was sent to the box for a hooking penalty, Roy scored his first of the season to put Buffalo on the scoreboard first 8:27 into the opening frame.
The Sabres benefitted from a key-offensive zone faceoff win by as Thomas Vanek corralled the puck and sent it back to Craig Rivet. Rivet handed it off to Roy, who was positioned at the point off the faceoff, sent a wrist shot towards Islanders goaltender Martin Biron. The Islanders netminder never saw the shot with a screen of players in front of him, as the the puck found its way to the back of the net for the Buffalo 1-0 lead.
"We took some bad penalties in the first period that we didn’t have to take," Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon said after the game. "We never really were able to get anything going in the first period."
Islanders, who were ranked 2nd in the NHL in faceoff wins prior to the game, only won 8 of 47 draws, a 17% conversion rate.
"I think it was something they (Buffalo) addressed getting Gaustad back in the lineup for them," Gordon said. "Combine it with our innefficiency on the draws, it wasn’t a good mix."
Thomas Vanek gave Buffalo a two-goal lead 17:13 into the second period on a power play goal with his fifth of the season. Vanek, who was positioned in front of Biron, took a Drew Stafford behind-the-back pass with Brendan Witt in the penalty box serving a boarding minor. Biron was able to stop the first shot, but Vanek was able to get his own rebound and push it past a sprawled Biron for the 2-0 lead.
"They moved the puck fairly well and got some shots and rebounds," defenseman Mark Streit said. "They’re a good team and have a lot of skilled guys. The best PK is to not take a penalty, and we took too many this period."
Paul Gaustad gave Buffalo a 3-0 lead with 3:41 left in the third period after a lengthy video review. Gaustad skated in on Biron with the Islanders goaltender sprawled on the ice and kept pounding away to push the puck across the goal line, only to be stopped by the whistle of referee Marc Joannette.
However, the play was sent to a formal video review and after a few minutes, the ruling on the ice was overturned by the "war-room" in Toronto, giving Gaustad his third goal of the season.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Derek Roy, BUF: Game winning goal, won all 14 faceoff attempts. 2. Ryan Miller, BUF: 24 saves for his 9th win of the season 3. Thomas Vanek, BUF: Goal, assist
Slapshots: Buffalo outshot the Islanders, 39-24...Mark Streit led all Islanders with 26:14 of ice time...Buffalo now leads the season series, 2-1...both teams won't play against each other until January 16...Freddy Meyer, Blake Comeau, and Rob Schremp (all healthy) were the Islanders scratches...John Tavares' four-game point streak (2 goals, 2 assists) came to an end tonight.
43 Martin Biron
30 Dwayne Roloson
26 Thomas Vanek - 9 Derek Roy - 21 Drew Stafford
41 Clarke MacArthur - 19 Tim Connolly - 29 Jason Pominville
13 Tim Kennedy - 55 Jochen Hecht - 25 Michael Grier
37 Matt Ellis - 28 Paul Gaustad - 36 Patrick Kaleta
57 Tyler Myers - 10 Henrik Tallinder
44 Andrej Sekera - 4 Steve Montador
52 Craig Rivet - 34 Chris Butler
30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth
1 - 0 BUF
2 - 0 BUF