Sabres Give Up Three in Second, Cannot Recover in 5-2 Loss to Islanders
Brock Nelson (left) and Jean-Sebastian Pageau (Right) celebrate Nelson's second-period goal past Jonas Johansson during Sunday's game (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images).
UNIONDALE, N.Y. --- At the end of the first period, the Buffalo Sabres looked to be able to hang around against the top team in the East in the New York Islanders. But false hope prevailed, as the Sabres gave up three goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 loss, extending their losing streak to seven.
The first period was a balanced attack for both teams as the Islanders held a 7-6 shots on goal advantage. Buffalo also did a great job with zero giveaways, but could not capitalize on any of the eight the Islanders had.
Out of the first-period intermission, the Sabres got the wheels going with three early shots. But six seconds after Cody Eakin exited the penalty box for a hold, Anders Lee scored his twelfth goal of the year and sixth against the Sabres.
One goal should not have been a problem for the Sabres to come back from. That was until Brock Nelson scored his eighth of the year 62 seconds later to put Buffalo in a 2-0 hole.
After those two goals, Buffalo struggled to gain any offensive momentum, forcing only five shots on goal in a 10-minute span. Then the Islanders put the nail in the coffin for the second period as Casey Cizikas lit the lamp for his fourth of the season.
The Sabres were sluggish all period, but Jeff Skinner had something to say in the third period. About six minutes in, the 28-year old scored his first goal since February 29th, 2020, cutting the deficit to two. Then about four minutes later, Colin Miller scored his third of the year off passes from Jack Eichel and Taylor Hall to cut the lead to 3-2.
With all the momentum, the hope was the Sabres would pull off the comeback. But Cal Clutterbuck had other plans, placing the puck past goalie Jonas Johansson to give the Islanders another two-goal lead. And for good measure, Brock Nelson scored an empty netter to make it three straight 5-2 losses for the Sabres to the Islanders.
The loss also is the seventh-straight for the Sabres dating back to February 25th's 4-3 OT loss to the New Jersey Devils. Buffalo's longest losing streak in team history occurred in 2014-2015, where the team lost 14 straight.
The loss gives the Sabres a 6-14-3 record on the season. Buffalo finishes their five-game road trip on Tuesday against the Flyers before returning home Thursday to face the Pittsburgh Penguins.