Having dropped four of their past six decisions, the New York Islanders (4th in the East) will try to split their back-to-back set against the Buffalo Sabres (8th in the East), who snapped a four-game losing skid with a win against the Isles yesterday.
Isles Lose, Still Bank Playoff PlaceA two-game winning run came to an end for the New York Islanders (31-16-5), who were beaten for the fourth time in their last six fixtures (2-3-1) following a 4-2 defeat against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center last night. The Isles were outshot 40-36, went 2-for-3 on penalty kill and failed to convert on their only power-play chance, ultimately allowing four unanswered markers, including three in the final period, after taking a 2-0 lead midway through the game. Adam Pelech (4 goals, 13 points this year) and Oliver Wahlstrom (11 goals, 18 points) scored for New York, which still clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov (19-10-4 on the season with a 2.02 GAA and a .930 save percentage) made 36 saves yesterday, but saw his shutout streak end at 248:00. Ilya Sorokin (12-6-1 for the current campaign with a 2.18 GAA and a .918 save percentage), though, is expected to patrol the crease for the Isles tonight, having registered a perfect 3-0-0 career total against the Sabres with a 1.33 GAA and a .938 save percentage. The Islanders are 12th in least goals scored per game this year (2.71), top of the league in least goals allowed on average (2.23), 24th in power play (18.3%) and 5th in penalty kill (83.5%).
Sabres End Four-Game SlideThe Buffalo Sabres (14-32-7) snapped their latest four-game losing streak (0-4-0) after picking up just their second victory in the past eight outings (2-6-0) following a 4-2 triumph against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center yesterday. Sam Reinhart (25 goals, 40 points this year) picked up a double, scoring the game’s winning snipe with 4:04 remaining on the clock before adding an empty-netter just over three minutes later. Tage Thompson (7 goals, 12 points) cut New York’s initial 2-0 lead in half during power play in the second period, while Rasmus Asplund (7 goals, 11 points) equalized at 2-2 midway through the final third.
Goalie Michael Houser stopped 34 shots on his league debut last night, starting his NHL career with a 1-0-0 record on top of a 2.00 GAA and a .944 save percentage. He is expected to make his second straight start tonight, with Stefanos Lekkas, signed to a professional tryout agreement by Buffalo prior to yesterday’s fixture, serving as backup once again. The Sabres are scoring the 4th lowest number of goals per game this season (2.40), while conceding the 2nd highest amount defensively (3.47). They are 15th in power play with a 20.9% success rate and 24th in penalty kill with 77.8% effectiveness.
NY Islanders (according to Covers.com)
- Islanders are 9-0 in their last 9 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation.
- Islanders are 22-8 in their last 30 games playing on 0 days rest.
Buffalo (according to Covers.com)
- Sabres are 2-8 in their last 10 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Sabres are 6-20 in their last 26 games as a home underdog.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Islanders finally confirmed their place in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs, but have seemed strangely off during the past few weeks, losing six of their previous 10 contests, thus dropping to the 4th place in the East Division. New York has, however, been the best team in the NHL when playing second parts of back-to-back sets lately, winning 22 of its last 30 contests without a breather. So, do expect a bounce-back game from the Isles tonight, and an impressive one at that! The last three victories of New York have already been achieved by more than one goal, with the Islanders outscoring their opponents 13-1, with seven of its most recent 10 triumphs against Buffalo also coming by a margin of at least two tallies.
Full-Game Total Pick
When facing off against each other in Buffalo, the Islanders and the Sabres have already cruised below the set goal-mark on five of the last six occasions, averaging no more than 3.20 tallies per encounter. So, expecting another low-scoring outing between the two teams is definitely not the worst of propositions! When playing with no rest, the Isles have already delivered just a minimal amount of snipes on five of their last six tries, while 10 of the previous 12 Tuesday outings of the Sabres have all finished with just a modest quantity of strikes on the scoreboard.