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Game Preview: Islanders at Sabres

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

ISLANDERS (33-18-1) at SABRES (16-34-3)

TV: MSG+, MSG, BELL TV

Season series: Tyler Ennis scored in the shootout to give the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders at First Niagara Center on Dec. 27. The Islanders held a 3-0 lead before allowing three goals in a 5:12 span in the third period.

Islanders team scope: New York put forth a strong performance on the road and had 40 shots on goal but fell short in a 2-1 loss at the Boston Bruins on Saturday. John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who are 16-16-1 against teams outside the Metropolitan Division. Chad Johnson made 34 saves in the loss. "We played a solid game against a good hockey team," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We had some chances, but we've got to find a way to score some goals here. That's the big thing right now moving forward." Right wing Cal Clutterbuck sustained an upper-body injury in the second period and did not return. Defenseman Calvin de Haan also left the game after being struck in the face with a skate blade. Forward Michael Grabner played 9:55 Saturday, but it's unknown if he sustained an injury. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was a healthy scratch Saturday for a second straight game. It's likely No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak will start against the Sabres.

Sabres team scope: Buffalo ended a six-game home losing streak with a 3-2 victory against the Dallas Stars on Saturday. Chris Stewart had three assists and Jhonas Enroth made 38 saves. Ennis, Tyler Myers and Zemgus Girgensons scored for Buffalo, which took a 3-0 lead when Girgensons scored at 5:59 of the second and then held on for the win. Enroth has stopped 97 of 103 shots faced in the past three games. "I was looking at the crowd here tonight and seeing how filled the building is despite our season," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "I think we've got some of the greatest fans in the world to really stick with us. It was nice to get two points for them, for sure."

New York Islanders
33-18-1 (67 points – 2nd in Metropolitan Division, 4th in Eastern Conference)
16-12-1 road
Buffalo Sabres
16-34-3 (35 points - 8th in Atlantic Division, 16th in Eastern Conference)
11-14-2 home
5:00  p.m.
First Niagara Center

Buffalo, NY

Television:
MSG PLUS
Play-by-play: Howie Rose
; Color: Butch Goring
Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Bruins 2, Islanders 1 (Feb. 7)
- Isles TV: Capuano, Johnson, Lee (Feb. 7)
Islanders player to watch
John Tavares - Forward

John Tavares scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season Saturday, giving the Islanders’ captain his team-leading 50th point. Tavares is 11th in NHL scoring and continues to produce at a steady pace with points in seven of his last nine games (five goals, six assists). Tavares had two goals against the Sabres on Dec. 27.
Sabres player to watch
Tyler Ennis - Forward

Tyler Ennis scored his 13th goal of the season as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night. Ennis leads the Sabres in assists (18) and points (31) and trails Zemgus Girgensons by one goal for a share of the team lead. Ennis was held pointless when the Islanders and Sabres played earlier this season.
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
27 Anders Lee 91 John Tavares 12 Josh Bailey
84 Mikhail Grabovski51 Frans Nielsen – 18 Ryan strome
40 Michael Grabner
29 Brock Nelson 86 Nikolay Kulemin
17 Matt Martin – 
53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

Defensemen

44 Calvin de Haan 3 Travis Hamonic
2 Nick Leddy
55 Johnny Boychuk
14 Thomas Hickey
37 Brian Strait

Goaltenders
30 Chad Johnson
41 Jaroslav Halak

Buffalo Sabres previous game lines
Forwards
80 Chris Stewart - 28 Zemgus Girgensons - 63 Tyler Ennis
26 Matt Moulson - 17 Torrey Mitchell - 12 Brian Gionta
19 Cody Hodgson - 65 Brian Flynn - 21 Drew Stafford
44 Nicolas Deslauriers - 37 Matt Ellis - 36 Patrick Kaleta

Defensemen:
4 Josh Gorges - 57 Tyler Myers
6 Mike Weber - 24 Tyson Strachan
61 Andre Benoit - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

Goaltenders:
1 Jhonas Enroth
31 Matthew Hackett


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