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Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate #8: New York Islanders

The Buffalo Sabres (0-6-1) head out on the road still in search of their first victory of the season.  While they have been close in all but two of their games, puck possession

has been the downfall of this team, on top of many other things.  Tonight’s opponent, the New York Islanders (2-2-1) is not an easy contest, as the Buffalo Sabres try and climb out of the rabbit hole that they are dangerously falling down.

Buffalo has already tied the franchise record for worst start to a regular season, going winless through seven games for the third time.  The 1990-1991 and 1999-2000 campaigns also started out with seven straight games without a win.  The good news is despite the poor start of those two clubs, they ended up third in their division both years, and still made the playoffs.  A loss tonight would mark and eight game losing streak, a new franchise record.

If there is another franchise in the league whose fan’s know how to suffer, its the New York Islanders.  The Islanders however under new direction and a reinvigorated franchise, are hoping to build on last years first round playoff loss – their first trip to the playoffs since they lost to the Buffalo Sabres in 2006-2007.

Look for Ryan Miller to regain control of the crease tonight – and despite the poor start of the team, Ryan Miller has a save percentage of .941 – his best start to a season through five games since the 2011-2012 campaign when he started .950.

This is the 154th meeting all time between the two teams, with Buffalo leading 75-56-22 in the series.  Buffalo won the last meeting of these two teams, a shootout victory in Buffalo on fan appreciate night to close out last season.

Buffalo is closing out their second back to back set of games so far this season, they have 11 more sets of back to back games to go.  The Islanders have been idle since losing to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.  New York is looking for its first win since October 8th when they scored six goals against the Phoenix Coyotes.  They have dropped games to Nashville and the Chicago Blackhawks since.

In net tonight for the New York Islanders will be Evgeni Nabokov.  Nabokov is 2-1-1 so far this season, with a 2.17 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Buffalo’s injured crew remains largely the same.  Now a total of 35 man games lost so far this young season, Joel Armia, Corey Tropp and Nikita Zadorov have all missed 7 games due to injures, and Ville Leino is on the IR with a rib injury.

Game time is scheduled for 7PM and can be seen on MSG.


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Tags: Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders

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