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Islanders at Sabres preview

New York goes for ninth straight victory; Buffalo seeks fifth win in eight games

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

ISLANDERS (9-3-0) at SABRES (9-3-2)

7 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG+, NHL.TV


The Game

The New York Islanders can match the second-longest winning streak in their history when they visit the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

New York looks to win its ninth straight game, which would equal their 9-0-0 run from Dec. 31, 1989-Jan. 19, 1990. The Islanders' longest winning streak is 15 games, set from Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982.

The Islanders have outscored opponents 29-17 in their eight consecutive victories, their latest a 5-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.

The Sabres, 4-2-1 in their past seven games following a 6-1 loss at the Washington Capitals on Friday, play their final game before traveling to Stockholm to face the Lightning in the 2019 NHL Global Series on Nov. 8-9.


Players to watch

Islanders forward Derick Brassard has five points (four goals, one assist) in a four-game goal/point streak.

Sabres center Jack Eichel has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"We haven't been good through stretches of the last 10 games but we've been able to survive it because someone steps up, be it our goaltending one night or our penalty kill or one line is dominant one night. You just try to find ways to win. Every game is winnable and guys understand that." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"We talked about it and we know how we have to play. Guys are not happy; we want to play the right way. That's what we've got to do tonight. We've done that before. Let's get back on the horse again." -- Sabres center Marcus Johansson


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Derick Brassard

Michael Dal Colle -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Ross Johnston -- Cole Bardreau -- Oliver Wahlstrom

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Devon Toews -- Scott Mayfield

Semyon Varlamov

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: Noah Dobson, Otto Koivula

Injured: Tom Kuhnhackl (lower body), Matt Martin (lower body), Leo Komarov (illness), Jordan Eberle (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Victor Olofsson -- Jack Eichel -- Sam Reinhart

Jeff Skinner -- Marcus Johansson -- Vladimir Sobotka

Jimmy Vesey -- Casey Mittelstadt -- Conor Sheary

Zemgus Girgensons -- Johan Larsson -- Kyle Okposo

Jake McCabe -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus Dahlin -- Henri Jokiharju

Brandon Montour -- Colin Miller

Carter Hutton

Linus Ullmark

Scratched: John Gilmour, Evan Rodrigues

Injured: Marco Scandella (lower body), Zach Bogosian (hip)


Status report

The Islanders did not hold a morning skate. They placed forward Andrew Ladd (knee) on long term injured reserve and sent him to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League for conditioning. … Montour will make his regular-season debut after injuring his hand against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sept. 17. … Vesey will return after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury. 


Stat pack

Clutterbuck is slated to play in his 800th NHL game. … Bailey needs one assist to reach 300 in the NHL. … Varlamov is 4-0-0 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in his past four starts. … Hutton is 6-1-1 with a 2.21 GAA, .926 save percentage and two shutouts in eight starts this season. … Ristolainen is one point from 200 in the NHL.

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