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On Saturday evening, the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders will take both take the ice at the First Niagara Center, looking to cure their early season woes.
Buffalo, coming off of a 3-1 loss to Toronto on Thursday, still sits at the bottom of the Northeast Division with a measly 13 points in 18 games.
The Islanders are not doing much better with 15 points in 17 games, but they are coming off of an overtime victory vs. Montreal a few days ago.
Looking through the league statistics, it is safe to say that this game could be an offensive slugfest if certain deficiencies take precedent.
As of this matchup, the Islanders have allowed the 2nd-most goals in the league (60), and the Sabres have allowed the 3rd-most goals in the league (59).
With that being said, the Islanders have scored the 7th-most goals (49) and the Sabres have scored the 10th-most goals (47).
The Sabres won the only other matchup of the season with New York, 2-1, but the Sabres were miserably out shot 43-15.
Buffalo will need to rely on their defense to step up, as they are allowing teams to get a league-leading 33.6 shots per game.
Help may just be coming for the Sabres defense in the form of Andrej Sekera, who has missed the past three games with the effects of a charley horse.
One of the keys to this game for the Sabres will be their second period performance. It has not been hard to recognize that Buffalo struggles in this period, and the statistics are present to back that up. To date, the Sabres have allowed 28 2nd period goals, which is a league-worst.
With the Islanders coming to town, there is good chance that statistic rises tomorrow night as the Islanders have 23 2nd period goals, the most in the league.
Looking at the goaltenders, the matchup seems to be the one expected.
With a rest day before a night game, Ryan Miller will start in goal for the Sabres and with the recent waiver placement, and subsequent demotion of Rick DiPietro, Evgeni Nabokov will start for the Islanders.
This game will be televised on MSG, with puck drop shortly after 7 PM.