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game recap

Islanders shut out Sabres for ninth straight win

Varlamov makes 27 saves, Brassard scores lone goal; Buffalo winless in past three

by Heather Engel / Independent Correspondent

Varlamov's 27-save shutout

NYI@BUF: Varlamov keeps Sabres at bay with shutout

Semyon Varlamov stymies the Sabres with a 27-save shutout in a 1-0 win, helping the Islanders extend their winning streak to nine games

  • 01:55 •

BUFFALO -- The New York Islanders extended their winning streak to nine games when Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves in a 1-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

The streak equals New York's 9-0-0 run from Dec. 31, 1989-Jan. 19, 1990. The Islanders' longest winning streak is 15 games (Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982).

"Everybody is playing for each other," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "Make it hard on whoever we play. Play the way we need to play against a team that we are playing, because everybody is a little bit different. Understand the situation and be fully committed to doing your job well. … They know that they have to rely on each other, and they do."


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Sabres highlights]


Derick Brassard scored a goal in his fifth straight game, and Varlamov got his first shutout with New York (10-3-0).

"I think we did a lot of good things today. The team battled all game. It wasn't an easy one," Varlamov said. "We scored in the first period and they were coming. They are a good team and a tough team to play against. We did an unbelievable job I would say in the penalty killing, blocking the shots. We did a lot of good things today."

Video: NYI@BUF: Brassard scores from behind goal line

Carter Hutton made 20 saves for Buffalo (9-4-2), which is winless in its past three games (0-2-1). The Sabres were 0-for-3 on the power play.

"I thought we came back after maybe our worst game of the year [Friday, a 6-1 loss at the Washington Capitals], I thought we came back tonight and we competed hard," Sabres captain Jack Eichel said. "We put a lot on them. They're a really good hockey team.

"You can talk about their defense, what they do, obviously they make it tough. It's not easy. They're one of the best defensive teams in the League for a reason, but we had our chances."

Brassard scored the game's only goal at 5:19 of the first period. Anthony Beauvillier sent a pass from the left boards to Brassard behind the net, where his attempted pass banked off Hutton and into the net for the 1-0 lead.

"It's just sometimes from those tough angles, but I got lucky," Brassard said. "It's a goal. I'll take anything for the team."

Video: NYI@BUF: Varlamov flashes the glove to deny Miller

Hutton said, "I'm on my post and he goes to center it, and it hits off [Colin] Miller and it redirects off like the top of my pad and in. I'm going to look out into the slot, it redirects and bounces in. Obviously, an unfortunate break."

The Sabres outshot the Islanders 11-4 in the third period but failed to score.

"It was a classic Islander hockey game; we just kind of battled our way through it," New York forward Cal Clutterbuck said. "Tough team to play on the back end of a back to back; they came pretty hard, it's a pretty good team, they're playing well. Big win for us."

Video: Pepsi Shutouts: Rittich, Kuemper, Varlamov, Bobrovsky


They said it

"Tonight, [Varlamov] had to be really good. He had to control things. He has been playing pretty well for a while, just not getting maybe the shutout or what have you, or we're not doing the things that we need to do. But I just like his calm. Both our goalies are calm in the net. They are making the saves that they need to make and making ones that maybe you don't expect them to make too, which you need. They are dialed in. They prepare like absolute pros, and it's paying off for them and us." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"I think it's great for us to be able to get on the road together, just continue to get closer as a group off the ice. This is a really unique experience that not a lot of teams get to do. For us, it's really cool. We've got a lot of guys from Sweden and a few guys from Finland, a coach with some European background. I think it's going to be an awesome experience for us." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel on the upcoming NHL Global Series


Need to know

New York is 14-1-1 all-time in the second of back-to-back games under Trotz; the Islanders defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 at Nassau Coliseum on Friday. … Clutterbuck played his 800th NHL game. … The Islanders were without defenseman Nick Leddy because of a lower-body injury. He was replaced by Noah Dobson. Trotz said Leddy is day to day and could practice Monday. … Brassard's five-game goal streak is the longest of his NHL career. … The Sabres are 2-for-13 on the power play in their past five games. … Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour made his season debut; he injured his hand in a preseason game on Sept. 17. Forward Jimmy Vesey returned after missing three games because of an upper-body injury.


What's next

Islanders: Host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (Barclays Center, 7 p.m. ET; MSG+, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV)

Video: Varlamov paces Islanders to ninth straight win

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