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Game Preview: New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
New York Islanders

24-17-6 (54 points – 3rd in Atlantic Division, 8th in Eastern Conference)
14-6-3 road
Buffalo Sabres
20-21-6 (46 points - 5th in Northeast Division, 12th in Eastern Conference)
10-10-3 home
7:00 p.m.
First Niagara Center
Buffalo, NY
 
 
Television: MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose; Color: Butch Goring


Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM
Chris King: Play-by-play
Season series (1-1-0)
The Islanders and Sabres have split the season series, with the visiting team winning each contest. In the last meeting, Evgeni Nabokov turned aside all 35 shots for his 53rd career shutout as the Islanders cruised to a 4-0 victory. The game was scoreless until Mark Streit's goal in the 38th minute. After that, Michael Grabner, John Tavares and Colin McDonald provided insurance markers, while Matt Moulson added a pair of assists.

Feb. 23, 2013: NYI 4, BUF 0 - RECAP, BOX SCORE, HIGHLIGHTS
Sabres player to watch
Cody Hodgson - Center

Cody Hodgson is enjoying a breakout 2012-13 campaign, one in which he set career-highs in assists (19) and points (34). His 15 goals are one shy of his personal best. The 10th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft has logged heavy minutes all season, and posted two helpers in the Sabres' 4-2 win at Pittsburgh Tursday.
 

Islanders Storylines
•The Islanders have earned a point in all but one game during April (8-1-3).
•Andrew MacDonald ranks fourth in the league with 121 blocked shots.
•Matt Martin leads the NHL with 229 hits.
The Islanders clinched a playoff berth Tuesday. They can finish anywhere between 6th and 8th in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Matchup
Islanders
20.4% (31/152)
79.9% (111/139)
138
137
6-1-3
 
 
 
 
Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10 games

       
  
Sabres
14.4% (23/160)
78.7% (137/174)
123
142
6-4-0
  
 
 
New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards

26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
12 Josh Bailey - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
36 Eric Boulton - 53 Casey Cizikas - 17 Matt Martin

Defensemen
47 Andrew MacDonald - 3 Travis Hamonic
7 Matt Carkner - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
2 Mark Streit - 37 Brian Strait

Goaltenders
20 Evgeni Nabokov
60 Kevin Poulin

Buffalo Sabres previous game lines
Forwards
65 Brian Flynn - 12 Kevin Porter - 63 Tyler Ennis
26 Thomas Vanek - 19 Cody Hodgson - 21 Drew Stafford
55 Jochen Hecht - 9 Steve Ott - 25 Mikhail Grigorenko
82 Marcus Foligno - 42 Nathan Gerbe - 32 John Scott

Defensemen
10 Christian Ehrhoff - 44 Andrej Sekera
27 Adam Pardy - 53 Mark Pysyk
5 Chad Ruhwedel - 6 Mike Weber

Goaltenders
30 Ryan Miller
1 Jhonas Enroth

 
Quote of the Day

"We need to be better. We clinched a playoff spot already, but that doesn’t mean anything. We want to be going into the playoffs playing good hockey. We’ve got one game left to correct it and head into the playoffs with a good feeling."

Left wing Matt Martin,
following Thursday's game at Philadelphia

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