The Buffalo Sabres will head to Nassau Coliseum to face off against the New York Islanders in Eastern Division action. The Islanders are tied for first place in the division, while the Sabres are in dead last. In three previous matchups this season, the Islanders have won all three.
Sabres Looking for Win Among Trade RumorsIt's been a rough decade for Buffalo fans. The team hasn't been to the Playoffs in 10 years, and haven't won more than 39 games in a season over that time period. This season is looking on par with the last 10, as they've posted a 6-11-3 record and find themselves in last place in the East Division.
As they face another losing season, rumors are swirling regarding Jack Eichel trades, but that won't stop the Sabres from giving it their all on Long Island. They've lost four straight games and are looking to get back on track with a win over a division leader.
Their last time out was a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Sam Reinhart and Tobias Rieder each scored goals for the Sabres, while Rasmus Dehlin, Jack Eichel, Victor Olofsson, and Rasmus Ristolainen each added assists. Olofsson currently leads the team with 16 points (seven goals, nine assists), Reinhart leads the team with eight goals, and Eichel has 13 assists.
The Sabres score an average of 2.20 goals per game, and allow an average of 2.95 goals per game. Surprisingly, they rank third in the league in powerplay percentage with 30.7%, and rank 12th in the league in the penalty kill at 80.4%.
Islanders Standing Strong Atop DivisionThe Islanders are currently tied for first with the Capitols in the East Division with 28 points. They've won four of their last five, and won every game in February against teams not from Pittsburgh (1-3 against the Penguins during that time).
They recently put up seven goals against Boston, and got the shutout against Pittsburgh on Sunday. Their most recent game was a 2-1 road win against New Jersey. Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom each scored goals, while Mathew Barzal, Andy Greene, Nick Leddy, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each recorded assists. Barzal leads the team with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists), Anders Lee leads the Islanders with 10 goals, and Leddy has the most assists with 14.
Goalie Semyon Valamov had an excellent outing against the Devils, saving all but one of 29 shots for a .966% save percentage. Valamov has a 10-4-3 record with a 2.10 GAA and .927% save percentage on the year.
The Islanders average 2.64 goals per game and allow 2.23 per game to opponents. They score on 24.6% of powerplay chances and kill 82.8% of penalties, despite their star Mat Barzal leading the team in penalty minutes.