NHL: Sabres keep Islanders at bay to take series 2-1 series lead

Monday, April 16, 2007

Buffalo leads series 2-1. (Best of Seven)

New York Islanders 2 3 Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres defeated the New York Islanders Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series in the opening round of the NHL Playoffs. Despite being rattled by a puck to the face mask in the first, Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller put up respectable numbers, saving 20 of 22 shots faced.

After a scoreless first period, Adam Mair, at 5:17, scored the first goal for the Sabres, taking a cross-ice pass from Chris Drury, beating Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro on the stick side. Thomas Vanek would double the Sabres' lead, pushing the puck past DiPietro's glove side that was initially ruled no good, before being reviewed Trent Hunter would answer for the Islanders less than a minute and a half later, picking up a rebound off of Ryan Smyth's shot. Just over three minutes later, at 12:56 in the second period, with the Sabres on the power play, Daniel Briere would lead the shot barrage, finally beating DiPietro to score his first goal of the postseason. With eight seconds remaining in the second, Randy Robitaille would fake a shot from the left side before moving behind the cage, passing the puck to Ryan Smyth, who was parked in front of Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller. Smyth would score to narrow the Sabres' lead to one. However, the Sabres seized and kept control of the third period, outshooting the Islanders 17-2 over the final 20 minutes while protecting their one-goal lead.

Despite losing the game, the Islanders are still very much alive in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. They will try to knot the series up at two games apiece on Wednesday, when New York will host the Buffalo Sabres once again.

Scoring Summary

Scoring Summary
No. Period Time Team Scorer (No.) Assists Score
1 2nd 5:17 BUF Adam Mair (1) Chris Drury, Henrik Tallinder 1-0
2 2nd 8:38 BUF Thomas Vanek (1) Derek Roy, Maxim Afinogenov 2-0
3 2nd 9:52 NYI Trent Hunter (2) Ryan Smyth, Brendan Witt 2-1
4 2nd 12:56 BUF Daniel Briere (1) PP Tim Connolly, Dainius Zubrus 3-1
5 2nd 19:52 NYI Ryan Smyth (1) Randy Robitaille 3-2


Team Player Shots Saves Save Pct.
NYI Rick DiPietro 35 32 .914
BUF Ryan Miller 22 20 .909

Three Stars of the Game

External links


Wikinews regarding this Series