Islanders 4, Sabres 1: Isles Hold Two Goal Lead in Third Period

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Islanders have struggled to hold on to a two goal lead in the third period this season.

But on Saturday night they did just that, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 at Nassau Coliseum. It was the first time since February 27 that the Islanders have won a game at home.

“That was a good 60 minutes we played tonight,” Kyle Okposo said after the win. “There was never really a doubt and when they scored that power play goal [Strome’s] line came back with a huge goal there to put us back with a two-goal lead. We didn’t look back from there.”

The Islanders opened the scoring early in the first period. Frans Nielsen beat Sabres’ goaltender Jhonas Enroth with a shot from along the boards to put New York up 1-0 at 3:31. The Isles jumped ahead by two late in the period off a power play goal by Kyle Okposo at 17:24.

The score would remain that way until the third period when the Sabres finally scored their first goal of the night.

Tyler Ennis scored 56 seconds into the period to pull Buffalo within one goal, but Ryan Strome answered right back with a highlight reel goal 40 seconds later to put the Islanders back in front by two. Cal Clutterbuck secured the win with an empty net goal at 17:47.

“We got a lead, didn’t give it up. They scored one on the power play and we responded within a minute. It’s nice to see. It’s different guys stepping up at this point. The way things have gone as of late, we got the lead and we held on to it.  We had a pretty good game. One of the better games as of late,” Travis Hamonic said.

The Islanders finished the game outshooting the Sabres 38-34 and the defense kept the Buffalo power play to just one goal on six chances. Isles starter Anders Nilsson made 37 saves, which included 10 in the third when the team needed them the most.

Nilsson credited his performance with the play of the defenseman saying, “they played so good.”

“They helped me out a lot,” Nilsson said. “They cleared out the guys in front of me so I saw pretty much every shot and had a clear view. No backdoor plays or nothing, so all the guys in front of me played a good game.”




106 comments
jepliberty
jepliberty

Somebody on this thread wrote that Halmo brings toughness to the team, well Halmo is nothing but a human punching bag, I just watched about 13 or 14 of his fights on videos, and he won 1, tied 1, and lost the other dozen, so where is the so called toughness?

justintime
justintime

Vanek on Isles contract leak: "I don’t know what the right word for it is. Unnecessary, I guess. I don’t think it did good for both sides."

Sounds like another big Snow Fan...

csh205
csh205

Second "home" regulation win against an eastern conference team all year.  The Islanders technical "road" record is actually almost NHL .500 but when you factor in games at the "white elephant" on Hempstead Turnpike we really are the "away" team every night and all we have to show for it is another lottery draft pick.

TonyM
TonyM

            @Sam Sam           Unfortunately the culture of losing is even embedded in the fans with this organization! Anyone who thinks this team will much improved without any major changes next season is whistling in the dark!  The influx of youing talent is refreshing, but without upgrades behind the bench and in goal this team won't  even sniff a playoff spot next season. The Vanek trade should never have been made, but that being said , his unwiilingness too resign with the Islanders is not the end of the world. Vanek's play in Montreal is indifferent at best. Once he signs a long term deal with whomever, he will even be less motivated! What will hurt much more then Vanek leaving is the top two draft choices we gave up too get him in the first  place! There is no accountability with either the GM or coaching staff on this team!  Only certain players are held accountable and they are usually the first year players! This team will not see the playoffs again under Wang's reign!

willymayshays
willymayshays

I get it, Buffalo has no talent, but still that does not hide the fact that Lee, Nelson and de Haan have played very well this year. 

This team is going to need to have Strome be a good second line center and Reinhart be a shut down d-man if we are going to make the playoffs anytime soon. 


Of course we need a goalie that can lead this team and a couple other upgrades as well.  But, the point is the play from the young guys is encouraging.

truth77
truth77

I always say good comes out of bad .If J.T stays healthy and the others ,we would not of seen these players especially with this Organization.We found out Lee and Nelson are Hockey players ,Halmo is a a good 4th line player adds toughness,Strome will be a real good hockey player with age and size and strength .Donovan is not ready.Nilson is far ahead of Poulin mechanically.Sundstrom is like all Scandinavian Hockey players fundamentally sound,He just needs to get stronger.Just think if these guys didnt get hurt we would not have evaluated this talent untill next year.

Sam Sam
Sam Sam

I was at the game/protest last night with the Isles Nation guys up in section 317.  We attempted the "Snow must go" chants but they never caught on with the rest of the 13,975 fans in the arena.  

I walked over to section 329 to see if they could help out and they actually were screaming at me to shut up and were total morons.  


Islanders fans have no backbone to stand up for something.  It was very disturbing to see the blind followers last night.  I have been too passionate about this team and I'm going to try to follow this team from a distance and not get too close because it seems like a waste.  Very frustrating.


BTW - I spoke to Butch Goring before the game and mentioned to him if he would talk about the fans protest to his listeners and discuss our dismay with management.  Butch told me "I was instructed not to talk about that."  "I could lose my job."

Butch was very polite and understood and agreed with me but basically said he couldn't go against his boss.

John Richards
John Richards

Heatley for one season I might try it in fact it may be their only option unless Lee is the absolute real deal!!

dzruggie
dzruggie

Paints a picture of how good they look when they have more talent than the opponent, unfortunately there are 28 other teams with more talent than them lol.....  

njersey
njersey

next years top 3 lines -

Dany Heatley  -  JT  -  Okposo

Lee  -  Brock Nelson  -  Strome

Bailey -  Frans Nielsen -  Grabner

Not bad right ???

willymayshays
willymayshays

@TonyM @Sam Sam 

Who cares if they make the playoffs once by accident.  JT, KO, Frans, Graner, Lee, Nelson, Cizi, Martin, Strome, de Haan, Pelech, Reinhart etc. could be the start of something good, (long term) but as you said Wang has shown that he is fine cutting loses rather than investing into his product and completing a roster that has the ability to go deep into the playoffs.  He doesn't even care if the GM is incompetent or the coach is terrible.  I do believe he will sell soon though.  Let us pray.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@truth77 

IMO, Donovan is ready to make some mistakes and learn from them up here. Sorry but rookie often make rookie mistakes.  Overall his play has been good.  It's just those 1 or 2 errors that he needs to cut out.  Don't see him playing enough offensively.  That's were his skating, hands and shot come into play.  Defensively he needs to get better, but he does do things I like on defense.  He plays physical and plays to keep the crease clear instead of just try to stick check when the puck comes around.  

willymayshays
willymayshays

@truth77  

Truth is there is no silver lining to a serious JT injury.  All I can say is that I hope JT comes back 100 % healthy with no lingering effects.  



Don22
Don22

@Sam Sam I don't begrudge your attempts at a protest, but I do feel that it was misguided.  What is your "protest" at the game accomplishing?  Media coverage?  I watched the game - I didn't see a single paper bag or inside out jersey.  Read the paper today -didn't see one mention.  All it does is show the players that you don't care what they are doing on the ice.  And don't tell me you are doing it for them too, as one poster suggested.  You're not. If you're behind your team you keep this out of their home.  Want to make a stink, protest outside Wang's offices.  Protest outside the NHL offices.  And keep doing it.  One game of "protest" is doing nothing.  And to label anyone who doesn't participate as morons is ignorant.  Many go to the game to root for their team and have a fun night out.  


And I'm not sure if you stayed for the interview with KO.  Did you hear what he said about the players?  They believe in the process this team is going through.  

I don't disagree that Snow should go and that we would be better off with a new owner (maybe).  But I don't agree with an attempt at a protest in a game.  It disrespects the players and other fans that are there to see a game.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@John Richards  

What if Lee is not the real deal???????

Is snow going to fill that hole too?  Ha, Lee is getting a spot next yr never mind you're opinion.  To be honest I doubt Snow fills the holes we all know exist right now.  Do you think he's actually going to fill out the roster and spend enough to compete or do more like he did last offseason. 

njersey
njersey

@John Richards

He's a free agent, who is now 33 years old, and a Huge Body. After a couple of down years playing with a "conservative" club in Minnesota, he might bight at large $ amount and a 1st line of JT and Okposo ????

njersey
njersey

@dzruggie

Good point - Buffalo has NOTHING !!!!

We will be much better next year though.... I like going young - potential for ugly games, due to inexperience, but the young enthusiasm makes for a good reason to watch !!!!

jepliberty
jepliberty

@njersey

Yeah, and who protects them, they are soft as tissue, and too light in their collective 'seats' and will get killed, should they even make the POs next season wen teams tighten up their Defense, and that is why we need a guy like Boulton on this team. 

shlo
shlo

@njersey Like it. Bailey of course is a question mark. He has next year to redeem himself or else.

If heatley decides to sign here as a free agent, he will not demand a trade, he knows what he is getting into. He is at the end of his career and should know better.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@njersey  Strome is a center if they were going to move him it would have been this year.  The move and question is could they swap Frans for a #1 goalie - Reimer perhaps?

David Sisler
David Sisler

@njersey  Heatly? You want Taveras to be a passenger in his car? Plus the way he demanded a trade out of Ottawa and limiting their trade options makes him a Yashin Mueller type to avoid

wangbegone
wangbegone

@Don22  And your message has been paid for and approved by Chuckie the clown. 

jepliberty
jepliberty

@Don22

If that is the case then KO and some of the others must be morons.

Sam Sam
Sam Sam

@Don22   How can you say that a protest disrespects the players??  We want to win, have the best players, coaches and chance of winning and with this fraud we have managing this team, this censorship we have going on in the NY media nothing is going to change.  This team will keep losing.  The players and fans deserve better!

You think Tavares is happy inside with how things are going?  Moulson gone for nothing!  Love DeHaan, but to lose so many picks for him, the list goes on and on like a horror show...


Don, have you ever seen the vulgar low life scum in section 329, if you haven't you have no clue as to what I am talking about. 


As far as bags and signs go, they were all confiscated right away by security.  Islanders hockey is just a show, families and fans should just come and view as if were a circus.  Blindly follow as you say without question, without voicing our opinion.  Just to keep getting screwed over and over again.  

 

John Richards
John Richards

I just wonder about his effort and accountability for an entire season but at this point I don't know where else we are going?? Moulson ain't coming back maybe dany likes the idea of playing with JT/KO/?????

dzruggie
dzruggie

@njersey @dzruggie  Totally agree....as much as logic says to hope for a higher pick, I am rooting for these kids to score and develop.  Strome had a nice rebound game (defensively) and added a big goal.  Lee looks more responsible in his own zone and less running around.

Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas

@shlo @njersey NOO HEATLY Why would anybody want him??? If anything I would try and make amends with Moulson

nyicdneh
nyicdneh

Reimer can't even crack the Toronto starting job and you want him on the Island? He's terrible! No way I trade him for Frans straight up in a million years!!!

isles23
isles23

@dz. I think they could move Strome to RW for the start of next year. Between JT, Frans, Nelson, Strome, and cizikas we are deep at center. We could use another RW which is why imo Strome should be the one moved to wing. But it is a possibility we trade Frans for a goalie. Id prefer to hold onto him and trade some of the young D for said goalie but if it was for a legit number one top I would have to consider it.

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

@dzruggie @njersey  if you got a goalie for frans you wouldn't gain anything.  i have more faith in nilsson developing, than in frans for reimer.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@mitchfritz

So how about this years draft?

I haven't looked into it enough to make my personal top 10.  I'd say Ekblad is my #1.  Reinhart is no JT, and Ekblad is better more talented and projectable than any other prospects IMO.  

1-Ekblad

-Reinhart

-Draisaitl

-Bennet

-Ritchie

-Perlinie

-Delcolle

Personally if not picking 1 or 2 I'd have a hard time going wit someone other than Ritchie.  It's always BPA but, in this case it is close and I think he fits a big need, power forward/toughness. 

willymayshays
willymayshays

@mitchfritz @willymayshays 

Me too.  a lot of people say root for the jersey and I do, but I usually follow the kids from pre draft to the majors and when they succeed it's great.  I think it's like they say, life is a journey it's not about where you end up, it's about how you get there.   Of course it matters where you end up but it's difference between a map and a great story.  Personally I'd rather read a book  for 2 hr's than spend it looking at a map.

willymayshays
willymayshays

@mitchfritz  

Short like Ullstrom short.  (I liked him too)

What I see in Dono is a decent sized, offensively talented d-man who actually plays physical, aggressive and tough defensively.  I love that combo.  and if de Haan and Pulock are the real deal I really want to keep Dono on a third pairing so that we keep a certain amount of depth for certain aspects of the game.  Alas, here is a guy who should be running the PP in this lost season. Not sitting.  

We need a coach in the worst way.

Sam Sam
Sam Sam

@islesfan @Don22@Sam Sam  Hey Islesfan, I posted the exact same diagnosis the other day.  It's amazing right.

islesfan
islesfan

@Don22 @Sam Sam  Islanders fans suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.  We've been mistreated, lied to, humiliated and taken advantage of for so long that we've come to develop sympathy for our tormentors.


"That might have been the best deal Snow could have gotten."


"Vanek really played well with JT."


"Wang only wanted a little taxpayer money."


"At least we'll keep our 5th rd pick."


Tired of that nonsense.  Good for the fans who made their voices heard.


Snow Must Go!

Don22
Don22

@Sam Sam @Don22I am getting so sick and tired of being labeled as someone who blindly follows this team and that I don't care about what happens.  I am well aware of what is going on with this team.  However - your "protest" is nothing more than a look at me moment and nothing more.  Even some of the diehards Wang haters here know that.  It's a one-time attempt that will get you nowhere and will only make teams/fans around the league laugh at us even more.  As I said in my post, if you want to protest - do it at the league offices.  Do it at Wangs office.  And do it more than once.  You have to do it over and over again before you will get noticed.  


Do I think the players like what is going on?  No. But what they need is fans that will cheer for them regardless of who the owner/GM is.  They deserve support from the fans.


And guess what... hockey is entertainment.  All sports is entertainment.  I don't belittle your commitment.  But don't pass me off as just a casual fly by night.  There are a lot of guys here that don't agree with my position on a lot of things Islanders, but I am sure they all agree that I am a knowledgeable, passionate fan who hates what is happening to this team as much as anyone.  Just because I disagree with that form of "protest" doesn't take away from that.

Don22
Don22

@John Richards Heatley is a lot like Vanek.  He doesn't skate very well and is suspect in his own end.  My concern is that fans would turn on him like they did with Vanek.  Although that may have had more to do with who he was trade for more than anything.

Don22
Don22

@Brian Thomas @mitchfritz@dzruggie@njerseyThe biggest difference there is I believe Strome has a strong desire to get better and a work ethic to do it.  He works out with Tavares in the offseason and JT has even said how intense Strome can be.  I don't think Bailey ever had or ever will have the mental makeup of Bailey.  .

Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas

@mitchfritz @dzruggie@njersey You would rather Strome play second line center over Nielsen. I disagree with that assessment. Strome reminds me alot of Bailey when Baily first broke into the League, Great playmaker but no killer instict.


Don22
Don22

@mitchfritz Point taken.  But even to say he can't be a star this early seems (to me) a little premature.  As I mentioned in my previous reply, his game is about play making - which relies on learning the speed of the game and what you can or can't get away with.  I still think he can and will be more than just decent player.


Remember when KO came up?  He played well and put up points, but remember how he always seemed to try and dipsy doodle around guys and try between the leg stuff that was so easy in college?  He learned that he can't always do that.  Strome will learn what works best for him.  I truly feel it will come.

Don22
Don22

@mitchfritz OK, fair enough.  But you get my point.  Maybe it's not you, but you know there are guys here that are practically labeling Stome a bust already.  He has work to do but there is no reason why he can't be a strong point producer on this team.  Kyle is also a different player - more of that power forward, use your strength type of guy.  Strome is more of a play maker, which can take longer to develop as he learns the speed of the game. 

Don22
Don22

@mitchfritz @doc942@dzruggie@njerseyYou can't write him off at age 20 and less than 1/3 of a season under his belt.  Many wrote off KO and look what happened.  None of us knows right now what he can be.  Have your opinions - that is what this is all about.  But I hope you weren't one that wrote of KO a year ago.

Don22
Don22

@mitchfritz @dzruggie@njerseyAt this point do we have a 2nd line?  I agree with you guys, but can we truly say that the "second line" is that much better than the third or forth?  Because of no Vanek or JT and even without Grabs, the rest of the year is about getting experience and learning how fast the game produces.  In a perfect world he should be centering a 2nd line, but we don't really have that right now.

doc942
doc942

@mitchfritz @doc942 @dzruggie @njersey  Absolutely… that's my point.  You stated Strome is terrible defensively.  My point is… so was Tavares.  I'm not concerned that at 20, Strome is NOT a complete player.

doc942
doc942

@mitchfritz @dzruggie @njersey  Tavares gave the puck up a lot his rookie year as well and into his second year.  Tavares was pushed around a lot as well defensively and was always falling.  Tavares has superior offensive skills and was able to shine in a 1st line role with some "stronger" wings around him.  Strome is a better skater than Tavares was at this same stage.  He's 20 and if he works 75% as hard as Tavares does in the offseason on things like defense and puck possession… then he may show the same type of improvement each year as well.


I am in NO WAY comparing Strome with Tavares as far as overall impact and talent.  Tavares is a far better complete player. I am simply pointing out some of the same developmental issues that BOTH players showed at this point in their respective careers.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@mitchfritz @dzruggie @njersey  See for me it is about placing him in a position or line that would accentuate his skill set.  He is playing on the 4th line now (3rd because of injury / trade).  Let's say next year he is our #2 center, plays with Bailey and Grabs or something and ends up 20 goals, 30 assists and - 15.  Is that a solid rookie (or second) season?

dzruggie
dzruggie

@mitchfritz @dzruggie @njersey  So what do you see for his future at 20?  Is there hope that he can learn the game of are you saying there is no hope, he will not grow etc.  Let me know.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@mitchfritz @dzruggie @njersey  Mitch he is 20 and just learning the NHL game, played very good last night defensively after having 2 horrific games in a row- you have no idea what you are talking about my friend.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@nyicdneh  Brenier has taken the #1 role however I just said Reimer as an example, John Gibson or another NHL ready goalie (yes Gibson may be a year away however by all reports this guy is the real deal).  

dzruggie
dzruggie

@grand_puba @gleichzahl @isles23  You move Frans IF you decide that Strome is going to be your #2 center.  Then you are not creating a hole as you would have JT, Strome, Nelson and CZ up the middle.

grand_puba
grand_puba

@gleichzahl @isles23  Feel like giving up frans, just means another whole to fill. We need to start making moves that are additions that come without any subtraction. Trading Frans would be equivalent to dumbing Moulsen, even getting something back we lose a key cog. 

gleichzahl
gleichzahl

@isles23  it's very hard right now to trade frans and be sure you get equal value.  he's that good.  reimer?  meh...

isles23
isles23

@dz. Don't disagree, my feeling on Frans though is that he is just entering his prime. I know he's gonna turn 30 and usually the thought is players primes are 25-30 but its different for every player. There are some occasions were players are better between 30-35 and I think Frans is goin to be one of those. That's why ideally I'd like to hold onto him and would only trade him if was a deal that everyone said, 'well we have our number one goalie for the next 5 years'.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@isles23  I know I have been on this trade Frans thing for some time now and truth be told I really do like him and he is a solid player.  For me it comes down to age for your #2 center.  JT is what 23-24, KO 25 and Strome 20, Nelson and CZ 23 or so.  There is no down side to holding him but having a strong center is important for many teams and that is why he could bring back the goalie - however that would need Snow to craft and I cannot say I have any confidence that he could do it.

dzruggie
dzruggie

@gleichzahl  How so if one of the biggest needs heading to next year is a proven NHL goalie, Frans has a ton a value - now after a career year.