Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen gets his 5th shutout of the season

Mar 14, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) makes a
Mar 14, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) makes a / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

With an impressive blowout win against the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres hosted the New York Islanders last night before they headed out for a five-game road trip. In the middle of a crucial week, the Sabres were hoping to gain some ground on the final wild-card spot.

New York was the team sitting in the second spot with 72 points, Buffalo had 67. With a Sabres win and a Red Wings loss, Buffalo would only be three points out. Despite getting so many shots on goal and dominating the period, Ilya Sorokin kept the game scoreless after the first period.

Victor Olofsson got the Sabres on the board as he scored a power-play goal, making it 1-0 Buffalo. A few minutes later, Dylan Cozens made it 2-0. Not even two minutes later, it was 3-0 Sabres as Zach Benson potted his eighth goal of the season. After not being able to solve Sorokin, Buffalo responded with three goals in the second period.

There was only one goal scored in the third and it was an empty netter with Benson scoring once again. Buffalo dominated New York and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen got his fifth shutout of the season as the Sabres beat the Islanders 4-0. While other contending teams won, Detroit lost and Buffalo was three points out of the playoffs.

Postgame thoughts

As I said earlier, the Sabres dominated since the puck was dropped. Even with the laughable "penalties" on Benson, Buffalo did an awesome job of not letting the Islanders get back into the game. In the first period, Buffalo outshot New York 13-5. During the first couple of shifts, the Sabres set the tone with great chances in the offensive zone, not allowing the Islanders to clear.

To wrap up Week 22, Buffalo will see the Red Wings on Saturday afternoon in Detroit. With a win and some help, they will be just one point out of a playoff spot before going to Western Canada.