ISLANDERS (0-1-3) at SABRES (3-0-1)
Season series -- It's the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The clubs split four games last season, with each winning once at home and on the road. The two losses to the 30th-place Islanders were a big reason the Sabres came up short of a playoff berth. The teams have split their last 10 meetings.
Big Story -- The Sabres are flying high in the early going. They are the only team in the East that hasn't lost a game in regulation and come into this one riding a three-game winning streak in which they've allowed only three goals -- two of which came in Tuesday night's 6-2 blowout win over the Detroit Red Wings.
In contrast, the Islanders are still looking for their first win. They got a point in each of their first three games (one loss in OT and two in shootouts) before losing 2-1 in regulation to
Islanders -- He didn't get a point against
"He has great composure, great awareness,” Kings coach Terry Murray said of the No. 1 pick in last June's Entry Draft after Monday's game. “He’s able to find the right places to be in order to be an offensive producer."
Sabres -- The defense and goaltending have been solid all season in
"We finally exploded," he said. "We weren't getting the goals the first few games, but that's what we're capable of with this system."
Who's Hot -- Miller has been nearly unbeatable this season. He's allowed just five goals in
Injury Report -- The Sabres took a big hit on Tuesday when Thomas Vanek left in the second period; he wiped out into the end boards after scoring his second goal of the night and didn't return. The Sabres say he has an upper-body injury but might be closer to returning than the "weeks" coach Lindy Ruff said he'd miss. Vanek practiced Thursday but is doubtful for this one. The Islanders are still without forward Trent Hunter (chest muscle), center Frans Nielsen (knee surgery) and goaltender Rick DiPietro, who hasn't played yet as he recovers from knee surgery.
Stat Pack -- One way to be successful -- shoot the puck and don't let the opposition fire away at your goaltender. It's worked for the Sabres, who are averaging a League-high 38.2 shots per game per game while allowing just 22.8, second to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Puck Drop -- The Islanders lost two games via shootout after leading in the third period, including a 4-3 loss at
-- John Kreiser, NHL.com