Kicking off a weekend home-and-home series with the Buffalo Sabres Friday night on the road, the New York Islanders were looking to make an impression. Well, they did that and then some.
Michael Grabner and Matt Moulson registered goals 3:04 apart midway through the opening period, and the Islanders jumped out to a 4-0 lead en route to a 5-2 victory over the Sabres. The two teams square off again Sunday in Uniondale.
Grabner tallied an empty-netter, while P.A. Parenteau and Jack Hillen also scored, as New York (37 points) topped Buffalo for the second time in seven days.
“Our starts were real slow the last couple of weeks,” Grabner told the Associated Press. “We wanted to get the first goal and play with the lead for once and have the other team scramble back.”
The Sabres, who defeated rival Montreal 2-1 earlier in the week, lost for only the third time in 11 games (7-3-1).
The Islanders (15-24-7) recorded their second victory in seven games (2-4-1), following a disappointing 2-1 loss at home Thursday evening to the Washington Capitals.
Nathan Lawson stopped 10 shots in the first period, before exiting due to a left knee injury. Kevin Poulin came in and turned away 26 of 28 shots for his second career victory.
“It’s too bad, but it’s going to happen,” Poulin said of not capitalizing to finish the shutout chance. “They worked hard and didn’t give up.”
Question now is can the Isles work hard again on Sunday and make it a 2-for-2 weekend against their in-state rivals?
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Written by Dave Thomas