Sabres at Islanders recap: One loss closer to 30th

The Islanders shut out the Sabres to move Buffalo that much closer to securing last place.

While their last few games have been nail-biting affairs, last night the Buffalo Sabres gave their fans hoping for 30th place a nice, relaxing 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders.

In their final game at Nassau Coliseum, the Sabres were blanked by one of their own, former Sabres goalie Jaroslav Halak. The former Sabres great didn't have to work too hard for this shutout, stopping just 21 Sabres shots en route to the victory.

The first period saw the Isles take a quick lead, when Kyle Okposo scored on the power play in the first seven minutes. It was a lead that the Islanders would never see threatened either through a scoreless second period or a third period tat saw the Sabres get outshot 15-4.

On the Sabres side of things, Andrey Makarov saw his first NHL start and performed well for the first two periods before allowing two daggers in the third. He made 33 saves in the loss.

With the loss and an Arizona win, the Sabres magic number moved to just two - a single regulation loss or Arizona win will clinch 30th place for the Sabres. It could happen as early as Monday.

Three Questions

1. Will the ghosts of Sabres goalies past come back to haunt the Sabres?

Indeed they would - Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves to earn the shutout. He never had to make any amazing stops, but he still rose to the challenge.

2. Will Matt Moulson return to action and make a difference against the team he's spent most time with?

Nope, he's still sick.

3. Can the Islanders clinch their playoff spot?

The Isles finished the night second in the Metropolitan division, but have not yet clinched a playoff spot.