The Buffalo Sabres might start looking like the little engine that could as they head to the end of the season. The team won their second game in a row and are now six points out of a playoff spot with 22 games left to play. The Sabres defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at the First Niagara Center on Wednesday and now have a 1.3% chance of making the playoffs according to Sports Club Stats.
The Sabres got the scoring started early again, this time with a goal 1:21 into the game. Tyler Myers found the loose puck in front of the net and was able to beat goaltender Mike Poulin who was scrambling after the barrage of shots that went on net. This is Myers second goal in this last three games and Myers now has a four game point streak. The assists on the play went to Derek Roy and Jason Pominville. The Sabres looked like the better team in the first period after the Islanders played Monday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators but the Islanders did outshoot the Sabres 14-13 in the period.
The Sabres would keep on the pressure on in the second period as they went up 2-0 at the 3:41 mark of the period. Thomas Vanek got a nice feed from Derek Roy from behind the net and scored his 22nd goal of the season. Roy and Pominville each earned their second assists on the night with the goal.
The Sabres kept the pressure on the Islanders in the second period, outshooting New York 15-6 in the period, but were only able to give themselves a 2-0 lead. The Islanders did get themselves to within one goal at the 14:52 mark of the third period as Franz Nielsen ripped a shot from the left faceoff dot past Ryan Miller for the lone goal the Islanders would score.
Ryan Miller had another stellar night, including probably the save of the year on Brian Rolston and then again on Josh Bailey:
Miller made 30 saves on 31 shots and now has a psuedo winning record as he is 18-17-4 on the season. Islanders goaltender Mike Poulin had 35 saves on 37 shots to take the loss. The Sabres will have two days off before facing off against the 1st and 2nd teams in the Eastern Conference this weekend in the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins.