Sports Pageau lifts New York Islanders over Buffalo Sabres 3-2
Sorokin stops 20 shots for 1st NHL win; Isles blank Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin’s eyes lit up and he broke into a big smile in not needing an interpretation when asked his favourite memory of his first NHL win — and a shutout, no less. “Video review,” the Russian-born goalie said. “Cancelled it.” There was more to Sorokin’s 20-save performance in the Islanders’ 3-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres than an overturned goal on Tuesday night. But the 25-year-old rookie understood how big of a save he got from coach Barry Trotz in having Victor Olofsson’s power-play goal negated with 6:59 remaining.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period and Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves, leading the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.
Pageau got his seventh goal at 15:08 when he banged in a rebound after Oliver Wahlstrom’s initial shot was stopped by Buffalo goaltender Linus Ullmark. Pageau was acquired in a trade with Ottawa a year ago and scored eight goals in the playoffs with the Islanders.
“My confidence is good. I’m trying to do my best and things are bouncing my way right now,'' Pageau said. "I just have to keep going in the same direction.”
Zacha scores 1:17 into OT in Devils' 4-3 win win over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Pavel Zacha converted Jesper Bratt’s drop pass to score 1:17 into overtime and the New Jersey Devils rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Thursday night. The Devils snapped a three-game skid by beating an injury-depleted Sabres opponent. Buffalo opened minus captain Jack Eichel, who was scratched after testing a lower-body injury during the pregame skate. And the Sabres then lost starting goalie Linus Ullmark, who was sidelined with a lower-body injury after stopping all 15 shots he faced in the first period. Bratt, Miles Wood and Nico Hischier also scored for the Devils, and Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 29 shots.
The Islanders beat the Sabres for the third straight time this season after two victories in Buffalo last week. The Islanders also moved to 5-0-1 at Nassau Coliseum, where they are playing their final season before moving to a new arena at Belmont Park next season.
“It feels like each game that passes, each game is the biggest game,'' Islanders forward Matt Martin said. ”It's going to come down to the wire and we have to find ways to win as we did tonight."
Martin put New York in front 3:01 into the third, beating Ullmark with a shot from just inside the blueline for his second goal of the season.
But Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart tied it at 2 at 5:48, batting the puck out of midair past Varlamov for this sixth goal.
Ullmark played well in the third, denying Brock Nelson and Adam Pelech on consecutive shots in the same sequence and stopping Pageau swooping in with just over nine minutes left. Ullmark made 20 saves.
Islanders roll past Bruins with 5-goal third period
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Anthony Beauvillier scored the tiebreaking goal in New York’s five-goal third period and the Islanders beat the first-place Boston Bruins 7-2 on Thursday night. Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom also scored to help the Islanders get their second straight victory and improve to 6-0-1 at home. Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots. New York,Mathew Barzal had a goal and an assist, and Adam Pelech, Jordan Eberle, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Anders Lee and Oliver Wahlstrom also scored to help the Islanders get their second straight victory and improve to 6-0-1 at home. Semyon Varlamov stopped 34 shots.
“This is probably the most painful loss of the season for the way we were able to actually neutralize them, create opportunity but come out on the short end of the stick again,” Sabres coach Ralph Kreuger said.
Sabres forward Curtis Lazar opened the scoring with his fourth goal 17:15 into the first. It was only the fifth time in 15 games that the Sabres scored the first goal. Buffalo outshot New York 12-3 in the opening period.
Anders Lee tied it at 1 with his eighth of the season 3:56 into the second. After Mathew Barzal kept the puck in the Sabres zone, Lee finished a solid passing sequence with Ryan Pulock and Jordan Eberle by backhanding the puck past Ullmark.
The Islanders have won six straight against the Sabres. The Sabres are 2-7-2 in their last 11 games overall against the Islanders.
“This league you are going to be judged on your wins and losses, there is no mystery about that,” Lazar said. “It was a hard-fought game. Obviously they are a very structured team, there is no secret about that.”
Crosby plays 1,000th game as Penguins top Islanders 3-2
PITTSBURGH — It was one special day for Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby — from the beginning to the very end. Crosby had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game, and the Penguins beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Saturday night. “Different experiences (in the past), I’ve tried to treat like a regular day, but that was pretty much impossible today,” Crosby said. “The game itself, it was great that we won, but the way I was treated all day was pretty unique.” Kris Letang scored twice, including a tiebreaking goal in the third period, as Pittsburgh won for the fourth time in five games. Mike Matheson also scored, and Tristan Jarry made 33 saves.
Islanders coach Barry Trotz praised Varlamov's performance after he made 16 saves in the third.
“Varly was huge tonight. He made some huge saves off the power play and at the end there,'' Trotz said. ”And tonight the hockey gods were in our favour with a couple of posts they hit.”
Monday’s game was originally scheduled for Feb. 2, but it was postponed because of COVID-19 issues with the Sabres.
The Islanders are 7-1-2 this season when they score at least three goals.
The Sabres will be without defenceman Jake McCabe for the rest of the season after he injured his right knee during Saturday’s 3-2 victory at New Jersey.
The 27-year-old McCabe was diagnosed with ligament and meniscus damage, and the team said he will need six to eight months to recover. McCabe got hurt trying to hit Devils captain Nico Hischier along the boards in the third period.
Sabres forward Tobias Rieder left Monday's loss at 15:38 of the first after a shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Islanders defenceman Ryan Pulock.
The Sabres made struggling forward Jeff Skinner a healthy scratch for the first time this season. A 40-goal scorer two seasons ago for the Sabres, Skinner signed an eight-year, $72 million contract extension in June 2019. He scored only 14 goals in 59 games last season and has just one assist in 14 games this season.
Islanders: Hosting Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Sabres: Visiting New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.
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Allan Kreda, The Associated Press
Lafreniere scores 2nd NHL goal, Rangers beat Capitals 4-1 .
WASHINGTON — Alexis Lafreniere scored his second NHL goal, Artemi Panarin had two assists and the New York Rangers made the best of a new-look lineup, beating the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Saturday for their second consecutive victory. Lafreniere, the top pick in the 2020 draft, cashed in on his promotion to New York’s top line by scoring for the first time in eight games. Panarin set up Lafreniere on the doorstep late in the second period, and his shot provided the rebound for Chris Kreider’s power-play goal in the first. With a goal and an assist, Ryan Strome made history as the first player to record 100 points apiece with the Rangers and Islanders.