The New Aud in Buffalo
TV: VERSUS (Check Versus.com to find VERSUS in your area)
Radio: Bloomberg 1130AM
Last We Met/Season Series:
Only one meeting so far, October 26th at the Mausoleum. Sabres simply outclassed NY 3-0 to win their 10th straight to start the 06-07 season. Kotalik, Afinogenov, and Pominville scored for Buffalo, and Ryan Miller made 29 saves to shutout the Isles.
Next Meeting: January 27th at the Mausoleum.
#55 Jason Blake, 21-17-38
#79 Alexei Yashin, 12-22-34
#81 Miroslav Satan, 10-15-25
#25 Viktor Kozlov, 13-11-24
#18 Mike Sillinger, 10-14-24
#48 Daniel Briere 15-31-46
#61 Maxim Afinogenov 17-25-42
#26 Thomas Vanek 22-19-41
#23 Chris Drury 20-16-36
#29 Jason Pominville 18-11-29
It's 2007, and the Islanders start the New Year by matching up against on the Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena.
With the Rangers off today, the Islanders can leap-frog them in the standings with a win. With 41 points, the Islanders are currently tied for eighth in the conference with the Boston Bruins.
Allan Rourke made his season debut with the Islanders on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. He replaced Radek Martinek, who went down with a foot injury. Rourke appeared in six games for the Islanders last season.
In order to halt their two game skid, the Islanders will have to knock off the Sabres, who have one of the best home records in the NHL, going 13-4-2 at the HSBC Arena. The only previous meeting between these two teams came in October, when Buffalo extended their season opening winning streak to ten by defeating the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.
From day one, the Sabres have been atop the Eastern Conference standings. They opened the season with ten consecutive wins, and haven't looked back. Their 59 points is seven better than second-place Atlanta.
The Sabres have used a balanced attack up front, steady defense from the blueline, and solid goaltending from Ryan Miller to reach their record of 28-7-3.
Offensively, Buffalo has nine players with at least 20 points. Daniel Briere leads the way with 46, while sophomore standout, Thomas Vanek, paces the team in goals with 22. Vanek is also second in the league with a plus/minus rating of +23. Defenseman Brian Campbell is having the best season of his career, leading the Sabres defense with 25 points.
In their most recent game, the Sabres extended their eastern conference lead by defeating Atlanta 4-1. Miller made 29 saves for the victory while Vanek had two goals, and Briere added a goal and an assist. The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their past ten games, and have won three in a row.
BoNY Prediction: Sabres win 4-3