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game recap

Eichel, Sabres deny Islanders fourth straight win

Has two assists to extend point streak to six games; Buffalo 3-1-1 in past five

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Jack Eichel extended his point streak to six games with two assists in the Buffalo Sabres' 3-1 win against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Eichel, who has 61 points this season, has eight points (two goals, six assists) during his streak and 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his past 10 games.

Jeff Skinner, Jason Pominville and Johan Larsson scored for Buffalo (28-21-7), which is 3-1-1 in its past five games. Linus Ullmark made 24 saves.


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Sabres highlights]


"You've got to stay patient against a team like that; they sure do," Eichel said. "They check well for 60 minutes and they don't give you a lot of room. They definitely are pretty opportunistic, but I thought Linus did a good job of making the saves tonight and our [defense] did a pretty good job. I thought we just played a good team game. It's a good win for us at home."

Casey Cizikas scored and Robin Lehner made 19 saves for New York (33-17-6), which saw its three-game winning streak end.

"They did a really good job of frustrating us tonight," Islanders captain Anders Lee said. "We got away from our game because of it and we weren't making plays the first two periods. Credit to them for doing that, but it's really on us to get back to our roots and get back on track like we've been able to do so many times before."

Skinner gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead from the top of the right circle through traffic at 16:25 of the first period. Eichel extended his point streak with an assist.

Video: NYI@BUF: Skinner pots tally with wicked wrister

The Islanders capitalized on a turnover to tie it 1-1 when Cizikas took a pass from Matt Martin in the high slot with 23 seconds left in the first for his 13th goal of the season.

Eichel slid a backhand pass between Adam Pelech's legs to Pominville in front for a tap-in at 6:49 of the second to give the Sabres a 2-1 lead.

Video: NYI@BUF: Pominville finishes feed from Eichel

"I just drove the net; not that many guys can make that kind of play on their backhand," Pominville said. "It starts with defending, causing a turnover in the neutral zone and off we go."

Kyle Okposo's shot from the slot trickled between Lehner's pads, and Larsson pushed it over the goal line to extend the Sabres lead to 3-1 with 2:25 remaining in the third period.

"We tried to play a different game than we've had success with," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We're usually a hard-driving, north team and we wanted to play cute, and we don't play that way. We have success when everybody's going in the right direction. The third period we did a better job, but obviously we didn't find the back of the net."


They said it

"They're a good hockey team. They play hard, they've got some talent, but most of the stuff was self-inflicted tonight. Just the way we play, we didn't play that way. For two periods, it was just kind of a little bit too cute and trying to make that extra play and not getting it in when you have the chance. That's not what's made us successful all season." -- Islanders forward Matt Martin


"He's our best player and when you see the kind of effort that he puts in on a nightly basis, especially a night like tonight where there's not a lot of open space … you're not going to be making a ton of highlight-reel plays because there's just not a lot of room out there. He gets two big assists and was definitely a factor in the game." -- Sabres forward Kyle Okposo on Jack Eichel


Need to know

Eichel is the second Sabres player in the past 20 years to need 53 or fewer personal games to reach 60 points (Daniel Briere, 51 games in 2006-07). Eichel has 21 multi-point games this season. … Buffalo didn't take a penalty in a game for the first time since March 19, 2018 against the Nashville Predators. … The Islanders have allowed the first goal in four of their past five games.


What's next

Islanders: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW, TVAS, MSG-B, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Condensed Game: Islanders @ Sabres

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