The Buffalo Sabres are on their first three game point streak since the month of November and they are looking to extend that streak on Saturday night against the New York Islanders. The Buffalo Sabres are getting healthier in the process as the only regular in the lineup that will be missing will be Thomas Vanek who is still ailing from a shoulder injury.
The Sabres have brought two facets of their game together in the last two games, allowing two goals in their last three games, but they haven't managed to run away with those games as they allowed two of those three to go to overtime, and even lost one in a shootout. For a team that was getting blown out of the water just as short as three weeks ago, seeing their defensive groove coming together has to a bright spot. Coach Lindy Ruff had some bright things to say about the team as of late:
"We've played harder in some situations, which has made a difference," coach Lindy Ruff said. "The buy in on the puck possession, not giving the puck away, not getting above the puck in a lot of situations has led to a lot more sound play and has really frustrated the opposition at times.
Ryan Miller is still looking for the franchise leading 235 win after tying Dominik Hasek on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens. In 22 career games against the New York Islanders, Miller is 11-8-2 with a 3.22 goals against average and .894 save percentage.
The Sabres are traveling to Long Island, a place and a team that hasn't been too kind to the Sabres this season. The last matchup between these two teams on Long Island was a 4-2 Islanders victory on January 14th that started the fateful five game losing streak. The Islanders are 2-0 versus the Sabres this season and took three of four games last season as well.
New York is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators last night that saw Mark Eaton score the game winning goal in his 600th career game. Both the Sabres and Islanders are languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but the Islanders seem to have some confidence heading into tonight's game, according to P.A. Parenteau:
"We're a confident bunch right now. We play with a lot of passion and we know what's at stake in the next two weeks. Nothing's impossible for us. The group of guys we have like Johnny (Tavares) ... but a lot of guys are playing well. It's only nine points and there's a lot of games left."
Game time is at 7:00 pm from the Coliseum.