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Buffalo Sabres PreGame Skate #67: NY Islanders

The Buffalo Sabres (19-39-8) continue their road trip as they head into the Coliseum to take on the New York Islanders (25-34-9).

Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders In a scrum.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

While much is made between these two teams fighting it out for the top pick in the NHL Draft lottery this year, the story may have very well become what draft pick with the New York Islanders be sending the Buffalo Sabres for Thomas Vanek – this year’s first round pick or next years first round pick.  Either way the Buffalo Sabres will be secured two very high draft picks in the first round of at least one of the two upcoming drafts.

Buffalo Sabres vs NY Islanders Season Series

This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders.  The teams have not met since Thomas Vanek was a member of the Buffalo Sabres – a meeting in New York that saw the Sabres beat the Islanders in overtime.  It will only be about a 30 day wait for these two teams to meet again as they will close their season series out on April 13, the final day of the regular season for Buffalo at First Niagara Center.

The Islanders and Sabres have faced each other 155 times so far.  Buffalo holds a 76-56-22 advantage in the franchise series – but only 34-32-11 away from Buffalo.

A win would give the Sabres four straight wins at the Coliseum – for only the second time in franchise history.  The first occured between December 30, 2000 and March 7, 2002.

Captain Material

Drew Stafford is doing everything in his power to prove his worth, either to Buffalo Sabres management who could name him team captain and keep him around long term, or for potential suitors who would be looking to trade for Stafford either in the off season or near the deadline next year.

With his uptempo play as of late emerging as a leader on the Sabres – Stafford comes into tonight’s game on his second three game scoring streak, his second of the year and just his sixth of his career.  Drew has never scored in four consecutive games.  Stafford has 15 points in his last 16 games.

A product of Ted Nolan – or has Stafford emerged from the shadows of players around him to finally be the guy?

Is Stafford the future leader of the Buffalo Sabres?

Game time is 7pm tonight – so set your clocks and get your St. Patrick’s Day weekend started off with a Sabres game.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Drew Stafford Pregame Skate Thomas Vanek

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