National Hockey League
Preview
NY Islanders at Buffalo
When: 5:00 PM ET, Sunday, April 13, 2014
Where: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York


The finish line can't come soon enough for the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres, who will close out the regular season with a late-afternoon matinee on Sunday in western New York. Both teams are assured of finishing last in their respective divisions, although the Islanders have shown some life down the stretch by earning points in nine of their last 11 games (7-2-2). The teams have split a pair of meetings this season - both of them held on Long Island.

Although the season has been a massive disappointment for New York after advancing to the playoffs a year ago, it can't compare to the dismal campaign of Buffalo, which owns the worst record and has produced the fewest goals in the league. The Sabres not only absorbed their sixth consecutive defeat in a 4-1 loss to Boston on Saturday but they also lost five more players to injury. "I've never seen anything like it in my career," Buffalo defenseman Jamie McBain said. "I've never heard of anything like it."

TV: 5 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New York), MSG (Buffalo)

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (33-37-11): Myriad injuries, most notably to captain John Tavares during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, have decimated New York but it also provided the team with a glimpse into the future. The Islanders have had 11 rookies in the lineup this past week, including 20-year-old Ryan Strome, who has scored goals in consecutive games - both on the power play - and clinched Friday's 3-2 victory at New Jersey with a spinning move in the shootout. Frans Nielsen collected a pair of assists against the Devils to give him 31 for the season, matching his career high from 2010-11.

ABOUT THE SABRES (21-51-9): Goaltender Matt Hackett suffered what appeared to be a serious injury when Boston defenseman Torey Krug landed on his right leg and had to be carted off the ice. Connor Knapp, who spent last season in the East Coast Hockey League, was forced to make his NHL debut in place of Hackett, who will be re-evaluated when the team returns to Buffalo. Also injured in the contest were defenseman Christian Ehrhoff (concussion), Chris Stewart (leg), Matt D'Agostini (lower body) and Brian Flynn (lower body), who have all been ruled out for Sunday's game.

OVERTIME

1. Islanders F Josh Bailey has eight points in his last eight games.

2. Knapp became the ninth goaltender to dress for Buffalo this season, an NHL record.

3. New York is 7-for-18 on the power play in its last seven games.

PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Sabres 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
NY Islanders 33-37-5-6 W2 13-19-4-5 20-18-1-1 3-3-0-2 30-34-5-4 10-16-2-2
Buffalo 21-51-5-4 L6 13-21-4-2 8-30-1-2 2-3-1-0 19-48-4-4 ---
Last Meeting
NY Islanders Buffalo
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/15/14 BUF 1 NYI 4 38 33 1-3 34 34 1-6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders L. Visnovsky 3
Buffalo C. Ehrhoff 1
Goals Player  
NY Islanders C. Clutterbuck 1
Buffalo T. Ennis 1
Assists Player  
NY Islanders L. Visnovsky 3
Buffalo C. Ehrhoff 1
Saves Player  
NY Islanders A. Nilsson 33
Buffalo J. Enroth 34
Season
Total Points Player  
NY Islanders K. Okposo 71
Buffalo C. Hodgson 47
Goals Player  
NY Islanders K. Okposo 27
Buffalo T. Ennis 21
Assists Player  
NY Islanders K. Okposo 44
Buffalo C. Ehrhoff 27
Saves Player  
NY Islanders E. Nabokov 1061
Buffalo J. Enroth 828
Quickchart Matchup
NY Islanders Off vs  Buffalo Def
2.63 GF
2.96 GA
31 Shots
34.5 Shots
48 PP
50 PK
Buffalo Off vs  NY Islanders Def
1.81 GF
3.19 GA
26.1 Shots
29.9 Shots
36 PP
58 PK