By Eric Hornick
Buffalo 2, Isles 0
For the second time this month, Kyle Okposo scored a big third period goal at UBS Arena. This time it broke a scoreless tie with 6:29 to play and turned out to be the winner as the Buffalo Sabres blanked the Islanders before a sellout crowd of 17,255.
Jeff Skinner hit the empty net for the final margin as Eric Comrie earned his first shutout of the season and second of his career.
The Isles fell to 37-28-9 as they prepare to host New Jersey on Monday. The Isles remain in the first Wild Card; they are just one point ahead of Pittsburgh and four points ahead of Florida. Both of those teams have nine games to play; the Isles have eight.
Kyle Okposo (10) Ilya Lyubushkin (12) 13:31 BUF 1,NYI 0
Jeff Skinner (31)EN Dylan Cozens (33), Casey Mittelstadt (33) 19:28 BUF 2,NYI 0
The Isles are 14-6-4 in their last 24 games and 9-4-0 in their last thirteen home games…. The Isles have outscored the opposition 27-9 over the last 17 third periods … The Isles' third period differential falls to +17; the Isles were +16 in the third period through 23 games, -17 over the next 34 games but are +18 the last seventeen games … The shutout ended four game point streaks for Zach Parise, Noah Dobson and Hudson Fasching…Lee played in his 670th game, passing John Tavares for 13th place in club history while Nelson played in his 750th game, becoming the 9th player in club history to do so…The Isles were shut-out for the fifth time this season and the first time since December 19th in Colorado (1-0 SO); it was the third time that they have been shut down….The Sabres earned their 35th win for the first time in seven seasons…Kyle Okposo now is 6-4-10 in 22 games against the Isles, who selected him 7th overall in 2006. It was his first game-winning goal in a game involving the Isles since March 3, 2016, when his overtime goal gave Jack Capuano his 200th win as an Islander coach.
First Time in a Ridiculously Long Time
Eric Comrie became the first goaltender since Toronto's Don Simmons in 1964 (Jan. 19, 1964) to record a shutout after allowing 10-plus goals in his last game (single season). Simmons did it on consecutive nights, losing 11-0 at home to Boston on January 18th before winning the following night in Chicago.
First Times in a Long Time
• The Sabres beat the Isles in Metro-NY for the first time since an overtime win on April 10, 2016, ending an Islander 11 game home winning streak against Buffalo.
• It was the first time the Sabres blanked the Isles since November 4, 2009, in Buffalo (Ryan Miller).
• It was the first time the Sabres won a game without scoring three goals since March 18, 2022, in Calgary.
The Wild Card Race
1. Isles 83 points in 74 games (Monday vs. New Jersey, Wednesday at Washington)
2. Pittsburgh 82 points in 73 games (Tuesday at Detroit)
3. Florida 79 points in 73 games (Monday at Ottawa, Wednesday at Toronto)
4. Buffalo 76 points in 72 games (Monday vs. Montreal)
5. Washington 76 points in 74 games (Wednesday vs Isles)
6. Ottawa 75 points in 73 games (Monday vs. Florida)
Isn't it Magic?
Pittsburgh can reach 100 points if they win their last nine games while Florida can reach 97 if they win their final nine. That makes the Isles' Magic number 15 over Florida and 18 over Pittsburgh. (The Isles can reach 99 so Pittsburgh's Magic number to finish in the first Wild Card is also 18.)
Islander clinching numbers vs. other East Conference teams: PHL (6), DET (9), WAS (10), OTT (11), BUF (14).
The Isles have clinched at least 14th place in the East, as CBJ and MTL cannot catch the Isles They will clinch a playoff spot by guaranteeing a finish above eight other Eastern Conference teams, and they will clinch the top wild card if they guarantee themselves a finish above nine other teams.
History for Brock Nelson
Brock Nelson has scored a tying goal on a 3rd period power play four times this season. Nelson now shares the NHL record for this somewhat esoteric feat. He is only the ninth player in NHL history to score four tying goals on 3rd period power plays. While Nelson is the only one to do so as an Islander, five of the other eight played for the Islanders at some point in their career: Reed Larson, Doug Weight, Todd Bertuzzi, Olli Jokinen. and Bo Horvat.
Like Father, Like Son
Zach Parise and his dad JP are only the fourth father-son pair to each score 20 goals for one franchise. The others: Ken Hodge and Ken Hodge Jr. (w/ BOS), Peter Stastny and Paul Stastny (w/ QUE/COL) and Greg Malone and Ryan Malone (w/ PIT) .
Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin are now 1-2 all-time in hits:
1. Cal Clutterbuck 3,726
2. Matt Martin 3,679
Martin had one hit in this game, giving him 271 for the season. He needs 29 to record his sixth 300 hit season (5th for the Isles). Martin (7) and Clutterbuck (3) have combined for the 10-biggest hits seasons in Isles history in the Real-Time era, which began in 2005-06.
Last Year vs. This Year
• 2022-23 37-28-9 for 83 points in 74 games
• 2021-22 35-30-9 for 79 points in 74 games; finished 37-35-10 for 84 points.
Offense from Defense
• Today: 0-0-0
• Season: 37-117-154
• Last Season (Final) 32-128-160
The Islander defense have scored 37 goals, which is the most that they have scored since tallying 39 goals in 2017-18. The 160 points that they recorded last season was their most since 2017-18 (171).
Best of the Best
Ilya Sorokin has 15 shutouts in 122 career starts. He has recorded a shutout in 12.3% of his starts, which is the best in NHL history (since 1943-44) among goalies with at least 100 starts:
• Ilya Sorokin 12.3%
• Roman Cechmanek 12.2%
• Ken Dryden 11.8%
• Dominik Hasek 11.3%
Zach Parise has scored 428 career goals, good for 9th among actives. He has tied Yvan Cournoyer for 82nd with 428 while Jeff Carter and Bill Guerin have 429.
Active NHLers: 8th-11th in goals
1. Jeff Carter 429
2. Zach Parise 428
3. Patrice Bergeron 427
4. John Tavares 421
Home and Road
The Isles are 37-27-9 overall; they are 21-13-3 at home and 16-15-6 on the road.
Buffalo is 34-31-6 overall; they are 14-20-3 at home and 21-11-3 on the road.
East and West
The Isles are 21-15-6 against the East (13-5-2 vs. Metropolitan and 8-9-4 vs. Atlantic) and 16-13-3 against the West (6-7-3 vs. Central and 10-6-0 vs. Pacific).
Home is Where the Fans Are
The Isles have played 78 games at UBS Arena and recorded 56 sellouts of 17,255.
Lou Lamoriello has the second-highest win total for any general manager in NHL history:
1. David Poile 1,527
2. Lou Lamoriello 1,400
3. Glen Sather 1,319
First Things First
The Isles are 22-10-5 when scoring first and are 15-18-3 when allowing the opening goal; they are 0-0-1 when a shootout produces the game's only goal.
The club record for wins after allowing the first goal is 18, set in 2014-15. The 2014-15 season is one of only three times in club history that the Isles have had at least a .500 record when allowing the opening goal.
The Isles are 20-10-4 when they outshoot their opponents, 0-0-0 when the shots are even and 17-18-5 when they are out-shot.
In the Nets
Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves; he is 12-8-2 on the season and 13-4-1 vs. Buffalo.
Eric Comrie made 26 saves; he is 9-9-0 on the season and 1-1-0 vs. the Isles.
The Isles were 0-2 on the power play (4:00); Buffalo was 0-3 on the power play (6:00).
The Isles are 16-10-4 when they score at least one power play goal and 21-18-5 when they do not. The Isles are 15-12-3 when they allow at least one power play goal and 22-15-6 when they do not.
Three is a Magic Number
The Isles are 31-6-4 when they score at least three goals (including shootout winners) and are 6-22-5 when they do not.
The Isles are 14-6-9 in games decided by a single goal including 9-6 in regulation. They are 5-4 in games decided in overtime and are 0-5 in shootouts. The Isles are 4-8 in games in which an empty-net goal turns a 1-goal game into a 2-goal game.
The final set of back-to-backs will be on April 1st in Tampa Bay and April 2nd in Carolina. Including tonight, the Isles are 7-6-1 in the front end and 8-4-2 in the back end.
Isles: Adam Pelech (22:19); Buffalo: Rasmus Dahlin (27:03)
Kyle Palmieri led Isles forwards with 20:15 of ice-time.
Isles record by ice-time leaders: Alexander Romanov (2-2-1), Noah Dobson (4-12-2), Adam Pelech (9-3-0), Ryan Pulock (7-5-1), Scott Mayfield (7-1-4), Brock Nelson (1-0-0), Mathew Barzal (2-1-0), Sebastian Aho (0-1-0), Bo Horvat (4-2-1), Tied (0-1-0).
Isles 35, Buffalo 14 (71%)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau won 10 of 11 for the Isles; Kyle Okposo won 5 of 7 for Buffalo.
Isles 26 (Cal Clutterbuck -5)
Buffalo 10 (Rasmus Dahlin -3)
None. Season total: 17 (Martin-7, Johnston-3, Lee-2, Wahlstrom-2, Cizikas, Romanov, Mayfield)
Isles 17 (Adam Pelech -4)
Buffalo 14 (Jack Quinn -4)
For the Analytics Crowd
Corsi: All situations: Isles 48, Buffalo 62
Corsi: 5-on-5: Isles 40, Buffalo 45
Isles: Hudson Fasching +8
Buffalo: Two with +8
High Danger Scoring Chances (per Natural Stat Trick)
All situations: Isles 12, Buffalo 11
5-on-5: Isles 10, Buffalo 8
Oliver Wahlstrom-IR), (Mathew Barzal-INJ), Parker Wotherspoon, Ross Johnston, Simon Holmstorm, (Sebastian Aho-INJ)
Games Lost: 189
Zach Parise played in his 156th consecutive Islander game; he has played in every game since joining the team in October 2021. Overall, his streak is 157 games, making it the 15th-longest active streak in the NHL. Anders Lee extended his streak to 104 games. (Scott Mayfield, Ryan Pulock and Brock Nelson are the other Islanders to appear in every game this season.)
Isles: 2 successful, 0 failures – STL goalie interference 11/3, CBJ goalie interference 3/24
Opponents: 2 successful, 0 failures – PIT offside 12/27, VAN goalie interference 2/9
League reviews: 6 (Isles goal – Salo vs ANA 10/16 – stood; Isles no goal vs NSH 12/2-stood; Isles goal- Martin vs CHI 12/4-awarded; MIN goal (Gaudreau) 1/12 – awarded); MTL goal (Matheson) 2/11-stood; Isles goal – Fasching vs BUF 3/7 -awarded.
The Isles have scored two goals in under a minute six times this season (five times at home and once on road):
• 0:17 10/29 vs. COL (Mayfield and Beauvillier)
• 0:59 11/7 vs. CGY (Lee and Palmieri)
• 0:22 11/26 vs PHI (Nelson and Beauvillier)
• 0:43 12/4 vs CHI (Parise and Nelson)
• 0:21 12/6 vs STL (Fasching and Pageau)
• 0:34 12/9 @ NJD (Cizikas and Wahlstrom)
Multi-Goal 3rd Period Comeback Wins
The Isles have come from two goals behind after two periods to win four times this season and have allowed the opposition to do so once.
For (4): Trailed 3-1, Won 5-3 vs. COL 10/29
Trailed 3-1, Won 4-3 (OT) vs CGY 11/7
Trailed 3-1, Won 4-3 at NYR 11/8
Trailed 3-1, Won 4-3 (OT) at PIT 3/9
Vs (1): Led 4-2, Lost 6-5 vs VAN 2/9
Last Minute Heroes:
The Isles have scored four goals and have allowed one goal in the final three minutes of the third period that were either the winning goal or forced overtime.
For(4): Brock Nelson vs COL 10/29 (18:39;EN/GW)
Josh Bailey @ TOR 11/21 (17:02; Isles won in OT)
Zach Parise Vs PIT 2/17 (17:17; GW)
Anders Lee @ PIT 3/9 (18:45; Isles won in OT)
Vs (1): Kappo Kaako @NYR 12/22 (17:13: GW)
For (5): Noah Dobson vs CGY 11/7 (4:02)
Zach Parise vs CBJ 11/12 (0:39)
Anthony Beauvillier @ TOR 11/21 (1:56)
Mathew Barzal vs VEG 1/28 (4:28)
Brock Nelson @ PIT 3/9 (2:13)
Vs. (4): Dimitry Orlov Vs WAS 1/16 (4:27)
Dylan Cozens @ BUF 1/19 (0:12)
Mike Matheson @ MTL 2/11 (4:38)
Boone Jenner @ CBJ 3/24 (0:40
Vs (5): David Pastrnak @ BOS 12/13
Evan Rodrigues @ COL 12/19
Jason Robertson Vs DAL 1/10
Tim Stutzle Vs OTT 2/14
Frederick Gaudreau @MIN 2/28
All-time Islander Leader Boards:
Games Played (skaters)
1. Bryan Trottier 1,123 *** 2. Denis Potvin 1,060 *** 3. Josh Bailey 1,055…
6. Bob Bourne 814 *** 7. Matt Martin 758 *** 8. Mike Bossy 752 *** 9. Brock Nelson 750 *** 10. Casey Cizikas 737…
12. Brent Sutter 694 *** 13. Anders Lee 670 *** 14. John Tavares 669 *** 15. Derek King 638 *** 16. Cal Clutterbuck 628
1. Mike Bossy 573 *** 2. Bryan Trottier 500 *** 3. Denis Potvin 310 …
7. John Tavares 272 *** 8. Anders Lee 239 *** 9. Bob Bourne 238 *** 10. Brock Nelson 237 *** 11. Bobby Nystrom 235 *** 12. Derek King 211 *** 13. John Tonelli 206 *** 14 Billy Harris and Josh Bailey 184…
28. Ray Ferraro 116 *** 29 Mathew Barzal, Benoit Hogue, and Ed Westfall 105
1. Bryan Trottier 853 *** 2. Denis Potvin 742 *** 3. Mike Bossy 553 *** 4. Josh Bailey 396…
13. Pat LaFontaine 279 *** 14. Bob Nystrom 278 *** 15. Billy Harris 259 *** 16. Mathew Barzal 257 *** 17. Tomas Jonsson 249 *** 18. Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo 230 *** 20. Brock Nelson 217…
23. Ed Westfall 181 *** 24. Kenny Jonsson and Anders Lee 175
1. Bryan Trottier 1,353 *** 2. Mike Bossy 1,126 *** 3. Denis Potvin 1,052…
6. Brent Sutter 610 *** 7. Josh Bailey 580 …
13. Patrick Flatley 488 *** 14. Brock Nelson 454 *** 15. Billy Harris 443 *** 16. Anders Lee 414 *** 17. Kyle Okposo and Stefan Persson 369…19. Mathew Barzal 362
1. Bryan Trottier +467 *** 2. Denis Potvin +456 *** 3. Mike Bossy +380…
15. Bob Lorimer +105 *** 16. Adam Pelech +77 *** 17. Tomas Jonsson +76 *** 18. Garry Howatt +75 *** 19. Pat Price +70 *** 20. JP Parise +67 *** 21. Jude Drouin +58 *** 22. Patrick Flatley +57 *** 23. Ryan Pulock +55 *** 24. Greg Gilbert +54
1. Denis Potvin 310 *** 2. Tomas Jonsson 84 *** Kenny Jonsson 57…
6. Nick Leddy 45 *** 7. Roman Hamrlik 43 **** 8. Ryan Pulock 42 *** 9. Mark Streit 40 *** 10. Johnny Boychuk *** 11. Adrian Aucoin 33 *** 12. Bryan Berard 31***13. Noah Dobson 30
1. Denis Potvin 742 *** 2. Stefan Persson 317 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 249…
8. Mark Streit 139 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 128…
15. Bryan Berard 100 *** 16. Vladimir Malakhov and Adam Pelech 98…
23. Radek Martinek and Noah Dobson 85 *** 25. Scott Mayfield 82
1. Denis Potvin 1,052 *** 2. Stefan Persson 369 *** 3. Tomas Jonsson 333…
8. Mark Streit 179 *** 9. Ryan Pulock 170…
17. Vladimir Malakhov 125 *** 18. Adam Pelech 122 *** 19. Thomas Hickey 117*** 20. Noah Dobson 115 *** 21. Adrian Aucoin 113 *** 22. Radek Martinek 109 *** 23. Dave Langevin and Scott Mayfield 107
1. Billy Smith 674 *** 2. Rick DiPietro 318 *** 3. Glenn Resch 282 …
9. Roland Melanson 136 *** 10 Semyon Varlamov 134 *** 11. Mark Fitzpatrick 129 *** 12. Ilya Sorokin 128
1. Billy Smith 304 *** 2. Glenn Resch 157 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 130…
7. Roland Melanson 77 *** 8. Glenn Healy 66 *** 9. Ilya Sorokin 65 *** 10. Tommy Salo 62 *** 11. Semyon Varlamov 59
1. Glenn Resch 25 *** 2. Billy Smith 22 *** 3. Rick DiPietro 16 …
4. Ilya Sorokin 15 *** 5. Tommy Salo 14 *** 6. Semyon Varlamov 13
On the Farm
Bridgeport is 30-25-7-1 on the season; they currently hold the last playoff spot in their division by three points over Hartford. Bridgeport is also just two points behind Lehigh Valley. All three teams have nine games to play.
Andy Andreoff leads the team (and the AHL) with 31 goals, while Chris Terry continues to lead in assists (43) and points (62); his 62 points are tied-6th in the AHL with his 43 assists are 6th. William Dufour has 20 goals, which is tied-9th among AHL rookies while All-Star Ruslan Iskhakov is tied-2nd among AHL rookies with 32 assists and leads all rookies with 49 points.
Bridgeport has only one game remaining in March, and it will be in Hartford on Wednesday.
Season Series Stats
Buffalo wins the season series, 2 games to 1 (and 4 points to 3).
It's the Sabres' first win in metro-NY against the Isles since April 10, 2016.
MONDAY, MARCH 27th- NEW JERSEY AT ISLANDERS 7:30pm
[MSGSN (Pre-game at 7:00pm), WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9FM, ESPN Radio]
The Devils clinched a playoff spot on Saturday night and will play their first game since as the Isles look to get back in the win column on Monday night at UBS Arena.
Each team owns a road win this season, with the Devils winning 4-1 at UBS Arena in October and the Isles winning 6-4 in December in their only visit to Prudential Center this year.
This is the final meeting of the season between the teams as the Isles visited New Jersey only once this season.
The Isles are 15-5-0 in their last 20 games against the Devils, including 7-3-0 at home.
Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982. Information contained in "The Skinny" has been gathered from various sources. Follow Eric @ehornick on Twitter & on his blog www.nyiskinny.com
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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