On the way up Washington street before the game, the smell of Lucky Charms marshmallows permeated the air around the First Niagara Center. Even with the possible omen in the air, the Buffalo Sabres couldn't generate their own lucky charms as they could only muster one goal against the offensively challenged New York Islanders in their 2-1 loss.
The Islanders got on the board first in the first period on a goal by Matt Moulson on the power play. The Islanders were able to get traffic in front of the net and Enroth couldn't see the puck as it appeared to have been deflected as well. That 1-0 lead would stand for two periods as the Sabres finally got on the board on a Jochen Hecht goal at the 1:54 mark of the third period. The tie game would be short lived as New York's Brian Rolston scored his third goal of the season at the 10:37 mark. That would be all the Islanders needed as Al Montoya made 30 saves in the winning effort.
For the Sabres, the turning point of the game comes on a five on three powerplay shortly after the Islanders scored to go ahead 2-1. Mark Streit went to the box for hooking at 10:42 and Josh Bailey followed him 26 seconds later. That would give the Sabres a full 1:36 with a five on three powerplay which generated some good chances by Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek, but ultimately only managed three shots on goal and no goals. From there, the Islanders carried their momentum through the game and finished the Sabres off.
The Sabres will have two days to think about this game before the face off against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. Our player specific thoughts after the jump.
- Christian Ehrhoff played a season high 32:48 tonight, most of which due to the Jordan Leopold upper body injury suffered in the first period. Ehrhoff had a solid game with seven shots at the net, two on, four blocked, and one missed, a hit, two giveaways, and a takeaway. Ehrhoff's 32:48 of ice time is the second most in a regular season game, the most coming on January 22, 2011 against the Calgary Flames where he had 33:08.
- Zack Kassian had a coming out party with his fists as he wowed the First Niagara Center crowd in his first professional fight against New York's Matt Martin.
Kassian had a total of 9:34 of ice time and was nearly non-existant in the third period with only four shifts on the ice. Besides Kassian's fight, he also had a dicey interference call late in the second period and a total of two hits.
- Ville Leino had a chance to become the hero for the Sabres as he mishandles a pass with a wide open net late in the third period. Leino had shown some flashes of great and some flashes of dumb, which has pretty much been his calling card all season, and ended up with two shots on net. Unfortunately, the missed opportunity at the end of the game is the only thing that Sabres fans are going to remember.
- The goaltenders in this game both had some fantastic saves. Jhonas Enroth had a stretch between the second and third periods where nothing would go in and if it got close, the puck would either hit the post or be saved before it crossed the line. For the Islanders, Al Montoya made some fantastic saves as well and was the game's number one star after making 30 saves.