The New York Islanders extended their home point streak to 13 games (12-0-1) with a 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon at NYCB Live.
Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winner at 3:04 of the extra frame and added two helpers, while Michael Dal Colle and Jordan Eberle also found the back of the net to defeat Buffalo for the second time this season. Semyon Varlamov turned aside 33 shots to secure his 11th win of the season. The Islanders power play went 0-for-4 and their penalty kill went 1-for-3.
The win was the Islanders' third straight and was the result of a solid, 60-min effort against the Sabres, who had entered the matchup riding a three-game winning streak.
Video: Beauvillier, Islanders beat Sabres in OT
"I thought our first period was good on us," Head Coach Barry Trotz said. "They didn't have much five-on-five. The second period for all the zone time [we had], we just weren't executing; we had failed passes, failed clears and we spent a lot of time in our own end. But they didn't get a lot of chances. They had some failed opportunities, but pure chances they didn't get much. I thought our third was great."
Dal Colle opened the scoring at 5:11 of the first period, as he found the back of the net for the first time since Oct. 19. Dal Colle buried a feed on the doorstep past Linus Ullmark following tremendous forechecking effort from Beauvillier who was able to strip Jeff Skinner of the puck. Brock Nelson and Beauvillier were the same linemates who helped him pot his first goal of the season.
However, Dal Colle's night was cut short, as he left the game in the first period and did not return after sustaining an upper-body injury. The winger played 3:35 prior to his injury. Around the same time frame that Dal Colle was pinned up against the boards, Ross Johnston was on the receiving end of a brutal crunch from Marco Scandella. Josh Bailey immediately defended his teammate and was assessed with two roughing penalties, while Scandella received a penalty for the same infraction.
Video: BUF@NYI: Dal Colle pots one-timer from in front
The Isles killed off Bailey's penalty but were not so lucky in the second period as Nelson took a penalty for holding the stick. This time Victor Olofsson sniped a one-timer over Varlamov's right shoulder to tie the Sabres up 1-1.
The Islanders regained the lead early in the third period, as Eberle netted his third tally of the season. Similar to Dal Colle's goal, Eberle buried a feed down low as a result of the gritty work of Nelson to regain possession in the offensive zone and find Eberle in the slot.
The Isles relinquished their lead when the Sabres forced the game into overtime with 1:46 remaining in the third period. Mathew Barzal took what Trotz called an "unnecessary" penalty against Rasmus Dahlin to put his team down a man late and the Sabres leading goal scorer Jack Eichel came through. Eichel extended his point streak to 16 games with his two points (1G, 1A) in the afternoon.
Video: BUF@NYI: Eberle beats Ullmark with quick wrist shot
But as has been the case the season, the Isles entered overtime with the confidence that they would get the job done as they had seven previous times this season. Trotz sent his usual forwards - Nelson and Beauvillier - over the boards and Devon Toews in place of an injured Nick Leddy.
After rotating through a few shifts Trotz sent the overtime starting line back over the boards. Beauvillier was able to spring on a loose puck in the neutral zone and seal the victory on the breakaway as he also recorded his first-career overtime goal.
"I was out of breath," Beauvillier said. "Guys were just putting their gloves in my face at the end there and I just couldn't do it. I thought I was going to pass out. Obviously every time you see a puck and see a breakaway, it's not that I don't want to backcheck, it's just the way it is. Great play by Nelly there with the stick and I guess I just found an extra layer of legs there at the end."
BEAUVILLIER'S CONFIDENCE CONTINUES:
The Isles winger has been sensational this season and attributes his success to his refreshed mindset he obtained over the summer. The 22-year-old has 20 points (10G, 10A) through 30 games this season.
"He's learning that there's going to be a game where you're not feeling it but you can help in so many other ways," coach Trotz said. "He's done that. He doesn't let himself get in his own way."
ISLANDERS WIN EIGHTH-STRAIGHT AT THE COLISEUM:
The Isles who just closed out a stretch of 10-of-13 of their last games on the road were grateful for the opportunity to have a couple of home games on deck. The Isles have won their last eight games at the Coliseum.
"It's a fun place to play at the Coli," Eberle said. "Guys get up for it. Undercover, it was a tough turnaround for us. We got back late from Florida and then we go right into an afternoon game and it's a home game. Sometimes those are tough. I don't think our legs were exactly there, or our minds, but we battled through it and found a way to win."
Video: NYI 3 vs BUF 2 (OT): Barry Trotz
VARLAMOV RECORDS 11TH WIN:
Varlamov improved his record to 11-3-2 on Saturday and was solid for the Isles as the Sabres pushed back, especially in the third period. The Sabres were relentless with their pressure as they generated a flurry of chances late in the game.
"Varly was solid," Trotz said. "He looked solid. They didn't have a lot of five-on-five chances, but when he they did and he had to make a save. He did."
The Isles have continued to rotate between Varlamov and Thomas Greiss between the pipes and are first team since the Sharks in 2006-07 to alternate starting goalies for each of the first 31 games of the season.
"They are virtually identical and at a high level," Trotz said of his two goalies. "That's a strength of the New York Islanders. If it's someone else's weakness, too bad for them. We're good with it."
DAL COLLE SCORES SECOND OF THE SEASON, LEAVES GAME:
Trotz did not have an immediate update on the Isles winger who left the game in the third period and did not return. The game was Dal Colle's third-straight game in the lineup alongside Beauvillier and Nelson.
"I thought Dal Colle was excellent early, before he got hurt," Trotz said.
Video: NYI 3 BUF 2 (OT): Beauvillier
DOBSON PLAYS THIRD STRAIGHT GAME:
The Isles 19-year-old rookie blueliner played in his 10th game of the season, which activates the first year of his three-year, entry-level contract. Dobson logged 16:08 time on ice over 18 shifts, including 2:56 on the power play and took one shift in overtime.
"He was good," Trotz said. "I thought he was very poised. He's calm and has lots of awareness around him. He's very smart. He looked poised. He's got lots of game. It's just going to grow. It's going to be exciting."
The Islanders take on the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.