Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. The Islanders are 2-0-1 against the Sabres this season, but Buffalo took the most recent showdown -- a 4-3 shootout decision on Feb. 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The New York Islanders' No. 1 goaltender missed his third straight game Monday afternoon due to the flu, and will not make the trip with the club to Buffalo. That means it will be at least 10 days between starts for Nabokov, since the Isles won't play again until Friday night against the Rangers at the Coliseum.
"I don't know where Nabokov is in terms of his health right now," Isles coach Jack Capauno said Monday after watching his team suffer a 6-0 loss on home ice to the Ottawa Senators.
Islanders: A win Monday would have pulled New York within four points of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Isles performed as if they weren't aware.
New York allowed two goals in the first 2:21 en route to a 6-0 pummeling from the Senators. The Islanders, who once again fell beneath the .500 mark, have alternated wins and losses in their last 10 games and have yet to win back-to-back contests this month.
Clearly, they're missing that sense of urgency.
"No push back," Capuano said after Monday's loss. "(In a) game like that, you've got to be physical. Matty Martin was the only guy that stepped to the plate. Disappointing."
Sabres: Tuesday night marks the third of a four-game homestand for Buffalo, which trails the Islanders by just one point in the standings. The Sabres looked impressive Sunday afternoon, when they disposed of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 6-2 victory at the First Niagara Center.
Derek Roy enjoyed his first two-goal game in more than three months, while Christian Ehrhoff contributed three assists to help the Sabres snap a 0-3-1 skid.
"I thought we just kept coming," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I know we made some mistakes. We got some great saves out of Ryan (Miller), but from a skating and moving the puck standpoint, we did a good job against their top line."
Who's Hot: Sabres forward Paul Gaustad tallied the game-winning goal Sunday and now has 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his last 10 games, while captain Jason Pominville has 6 goals and 4 assists in his last eight contests.
Stat Pack: With Monday's 6-0 loss, the Isles now have the worst goals for/against differential in the Eastern Conference (minus-35). … Pominville has earned at least a point in 41 of Buffalo's 59 games this season.
Puck Drop: "At this time of the year, you need physicality. You have to pay the price. I'll never ask anybody to fight, but we weren't physical enough. We need an injection in our lineup. We need something to happen here. We can't have the emotion that we had on the bench here tonight." -- Isles coach Jack Capuano after Monday's 6-0 loss to Ottawa