(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: MSG, VERSUS, TSN | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Islanders look to steal a game on the road, tonight at HSBC Arena against the Buffalo Sabres in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, before heading back home.
Rick DiPietro took to the ice for the first time with the full team yesterday, since a 2-1 overtime loss to the Rangers on March 25th, but we're still awaiting word on the status of DiPietro for Game Two
It wasn't the result the Islanders wanted on Thursday, as Buffalo scored three unanswered goals on their way to a 4-1 Game One victory.
Brian Campbell (2g, 1a) and Chris Drury (2g) provided the offense for Buffalo, who is looking to knock off the Islanders for the first time in four playoff tries.
Campbell got things started early in the first period with a perfectly placed one-timer by the left pad of Wade Dubielewicz.
After being out-shot 11-1 in the first period, the Islanders showed more fight in the second period, tying the game early in the middle frame. Jason Blake led a 2-on-1 break before feeding Arron Asham for a one-timer and a 1-1 score. The goal was Asham's first in 14 playoff games.
The Islanders received their chances the rest of the game, but it was the Sabres who scored the next three goals, including two on the power play. Drury scored his first of the contest off a rebound in the slot after Sean Hill blocked the initial shot. Drury then scored his second of the game in the third period with a one-timer, immediately following a Sabres power play. Campbell put the game away with a late power-play goal in the third period off a high slapshot from the point.
Wade Dubielewicz stopped 31 shots in his playoff debut, while Ryan Miller picked up the win with 20 saves.
Despite the loss, Ted Nolan thought the Islanders did an effective job handling the Sabres' speed. Only one of the Buffalo goals was scored off a rush. Don't expect much of a change in the Islanders line combinations.
Mike Sillinger indicated that the Islanders needed to do a better job in Game Two cycling the puck down low. He also talked about getting the defensemen involved by partaking in a high cycle.
The Islanders have been down 1-0 in a playoff series 23 times, and on ten of those occasions they have come back to win the series. The last occurrence came in 1993 during the Patrick Division Semifinal. After falling behind 1-0 to the Washington Capitals, the Islanders went on to win the series in six games.
While Ryan Smyth played in his team-high 69th playoff game, Chris Campoli, Bruno Gervais and Dubielewicz made their NHL playoff debuts. Gervais and Dubielewicz have previous playoff experience in the AHL.
Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on MSG. You can catch John Forslund and Andy Brickley on VERSUS, and for those up in Canada watching on TSN, you'll see the tandem of Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire.
BELOW ARE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR MSG ON LONG ISLAND
SILLINGER PLAYS WITH 8TH PLAYOFF TEAM
When Mike Sillinger suited up for his first Islanders playoff game, he broke an NHL record by playing playoff hockey with his eighth different franchise. The teams are (in order of appearance): Detroit, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Florida, Ottawa, St. Louis, Nashville and the Islanders. This season, Sillinger also set a new NHL record playing his with twelfth NHL franchise.
Islanders - 92 points, 4th place, Atlantic Division
Buffalo - 113 points, 1st place, Northeast Division
Islanders - Jason Blake, 40 goals, 69 points; Tom Poti, 38 assists; Brendan Witt, 131 PIM
Buffalo - Thomas Vanek, 43 goals; Daniel Briere, 63 assists, 95 points; Adam Mair, 128 PIM.
Islanders - Power play: 18.1 percent. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent
Buffalo - Power play: 17.4 percent. Penalty killing: 81.3 percent.
Islanders - Rick DiPietro (32-19-9, 2.58 GAA, .919 SV%); Wade Dubielewicz (4-1-0, 2.06 GAA, .934 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-10-3, 3.74, .889)
Buffalo - Ryan Miller (40-16-6, 2.73, .911); Ty Conklin (3-5-2, 3.34, .879)
2006-07 SEASON SERIES:
March 30, 2007 at the HSBC Arena: 6-4 Buffalo win
Buffalo - 28-10-3 at home
Islanders - 18-17-6 on the road
1 Mike Dunham
34 Wade Dubielewicz
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti
6 Sean Hill
8 Bruno Gervais
14 Chris Campoli
32 Brendan Witt
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
7 Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
15 Jeff Tambellini
18 Mike Sillinger
20 Richard Zednik
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan
94 Ryan Smyth
30 Ryan Miller
35 Ty Conklin
5 Toni Lydman
6 Jaroslav Spacek
10 Henrik Tallinder
27 Teppo Numminen
38 Nathan Paetsch
45 Dmitri Kalinin
51 Brian Campbell
9 Derek Roy
12 Ales Kotalik
15 Dainius Zubrus
19 Tim Connolly
20 Daniel Paille
21 Drew Stafford
22 Adam Mair
23 Chris Drury
26 Thomas Vanek
29 Jason Pominville
48 Daniel Briere
55 Jochen Hecht
61 Maxim Afinogenov
76 Andrew Peters