The Sabres are back on the road tonight as they travel to Long Island to play the Islanders inside Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Buffalo will return on the ice less than 24 hours after yet another close, yet-fruitless contest, where they fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 before their hometown fans. Backup netminder Jhonas Enroth played a strong game, stopping 18 shots, but it’ll be longtime franchise star Ryan Miller who gets the start tonight on Long Island.
He’ll likely need to be as stellar as he has been thus far for the Sabres to have a chance at their elusive first victory. Buffalo continues to have little presence in their opponent’s own zone, averaging just a single goal a game after seven straight losses. The power play has also fallen back to futility following its temporary resurgence a week ago in the home contest against Tampa Bay. Since that 3-2 Overtime loss, the Sabres have gone 0-for-8 on the power play.
It may be tough for the Sabres to show improvement tonight as they face an Islanders team who has given up just two goals in 13 shorthanded situations. Part of that success can be attributed to the strong goaltending New York has seen in their first five games. Starting goaltending Evgeni Nabakov currently sports a .927 save percentage through the four contests he’s stood between the pipes, stopping 114 of 123 shots against.
This is in spite of some recent turbulence that the Islanders have seen on the early season. After securing five points in their first three games, where they went 2-0-1, the Islanders have dropped their last two contests, both 3-2 regulation decisions on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. New York’s offense continues to be more apparent than Buffalo’s, but it’s plummeted since they scored 12 goals total in their first three matchups on the year.
The Islanders will be back at home for the first time in a week when they welcome the Sabres to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum tonight. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can watch the game on MSG or listen in through WGR 550.