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Game Preview: Islanders at Sabres

The Islanders go for a ninth-straight win when they take on the Sabres (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Sasha Kandrach KandrachSasha / NewYorkIslanders.com

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (9-3-0) VS BUFFALO SABRES (9-3-2)

7 P.M. | KEYBANK CENTER 

WATCH: MSG + | MSG GO

LISTEN: 88.7FM | 103.9FM | 98.7FM 


The Isles are riding an eight-game winning streak after defeating Tampa 5-2 on Friday. The Islanders current eight-game winning streak marks the fourth time in franchise history the team has accomplished such a feat - and first since the 1989-90 season. The Islanders have not won nine in a row since 1989-90. 

The ninth win won't come easy, as the Buffalo Sabres are one of the top teams in the NHL to start the 2019-20 season, currently ranked second in the Atlantic Division. Both teams will be playing a back to back, as the Sabres are coming off of a 6-1 loss to Washington on Friday night. 

The Isles took two of three meetings against the Sabres last season, winning 3-1 in Buffalo on New Year's Eve and 5-1 in their final meeting at the Coliseum on March 30. The Sabres claimed the second meeting 3-1 on Feb. 12. 



ISLANDERS NOTES:

-   Mathew Barzal leads the Isles with six goals and is tied with Josh Bailey for the team scoring lead with 11 points in 12 games. Barzal is riding a three-game point streak (2G, 2A).

-   Ryan Pulock scored his second goal of the season on Friday and has goals in back-to-back contests. Pulock has four points (2G, 2A) in 12 games. 

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-   Anders Lee scored his fifth goal of the season on Friday and has nine points in 12 games. Lee had three points (1G, 2A) in Friday's win over Tampa Bay. 

-   Derick Brassard extended his goal streak to four-straight games with an empty-netter on Friday. Brassard, who had two points against the Lightning, has six points in 12 games. 

-   Thomas Greiss stopped 33-of-35 shots and collected his fifth win of the season on Frirday. Greiss has a record of 5-1-0 this season, a goals against average of 2.15 and a save percentage of .933. 

-   Semyon Varlamov is the expected starter on Saturday, as the Isles continue to rotate their goalies. Varlamov has won four straight games. 

-   The Isles power play went 0-for-3 against Tampa. The Isles power play is ranked eighth in the league with a 23.8 conversion percentage. The Isles still trail the NHL for power play opportunities having drawn 21 penalties in 12 games. 

-   The Islanders penalty kill went 3-for-3 against Tampa. The Isles PK is ranked 12th in the League at 82.3%. 


Video: Islanders top Lightning for eighth consecutive win

SABRES NOTES:

-   Jack Eichel leads the Sabres in scoring with seven goals and 17 points in 13 games. Eichel's 17 points are tied for seventh in the NHL. Eichel has four power-play goals and is ranked second in the League with nine power-play points.  

-   Rookie Victor Olofsson has been a key contributor for the Sabres early on this season, with 10 points (6G, 4A) in 14 games this season. 

-   Goalie Linus Ullmark was in net for the Sabres' 6-1 loss to Washington on Friday. Ullmark has registered a record of 3-1-1, a goals against average of 2.56 and a save percentage of .932.  

-   Carter Hutton is expected to be in goal for the Sabres on Saturday. Hutton is 6-1-1 to start the season, boasting a 2.21 GAA, a .926 SV% and two shutouts. After starting the season on a six-game winning streak, Hutton is 0-1-1 in his last two starts. 

-   The Sabres power play went 0-for-2 against the Caps. Buffalo's power play is ranked third in the league at 28.6%. The Sabres' 14 power-play goals are the most in the NHL.

-   Buffalo's penalty kill went 1-for-1 against Washington and the Sabres PK is ranked 19th at 80%. 

-   Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the first-overall pick in the 2018 draft, has 11 points (1G, 10A) in 14 games to start his second season. 

-   Neither defenseman Brandon Montour (hand) nor forward Jimmy Vesey (upper body) played against the Caps. Both will be reevaluated prior to facing the Isles. 

-   The Sabres started off the season hot with a 9-2-2 record in October. 

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