Blake's scored with 2:18 remaining in overtime, and Snow stopped
36 shots as the Islanders edged the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Saturday
Blake, rushing down with Dave Scatchard on a two-on-one, beat
Mika Noronen with a wrist shot to the left side. Blake had a chance
to win the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, but Noronen
came up with a pad save, one of 31 shots he stopped.
''I was going to shoot that puck, no matter what,'' Blake said.
''On that chance at the end of regulation, I knew I didn't have
much time, and the puck started bouncing, so I just shot it.''
Shawn Bates also scored for the Islanders, unbeaten in six home
games (4-0-2). The victory keeps the Islanders in seventh place in the
Eastern Conference (30-24-8-2-70), one point behind Tampa Bay and
three points ahead of Boston.
Buffalo's Miroslav Satan tied it with 4:53 left in regulation.
Off a faceoff, Satan got the puck at the top of the right circle
and sent a quick shot that flew over Snow's right shoulder.
''The puck was just lying there for me,'' Satan said. ''I just
shot it at the net. I thought there may be a rebound, but I was
surprised to see it go right in.''
Snow himself was a bit worried about several missed
opportunities in the final period.
''Halfway through the third period, I was getting nervous
because we had so many chances to make it 2-0 and 3-0 and we didn't
cash in,'' Snow said.
Buffalo fired eight of the first nine shots of the game in the
scoreless first period, then went the rest of the session with just
three more at Snow.
Bates gave the Islanders the lead 1:21 into the second period,
extending his point-scoring streak to six games. He intercepted a
clearing pass by Rhett Warrener at the Sabres' blue line, moved in
and fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat
Noronen to the far side.
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff was proud of his team's comeback
''I thought we matched and even exceeded them energy-wise for
parts of the game,'' Ruff said. ''I can't fault them for lack of
effort. It was good to come back and good to get a point. We could
have easily won the game.''
Islanders forward Mark Parrish noted that the Islanders just
happened to catch one more break than the Sabres, and that was the
''Pucks were bouncing over our sticks, and they were bouncing
over their sticks,'' Parrish said. ''We just got one more good
bounce than they did.''
The next three games for the Islanders will provide a big test,
because they face conference teams within striking distance in the
standings. They visit the Rangers on Monday night, play host to Tampa Bay the
next night, and go to Boston on Thursday.
''Every point is crucial,'' Parrish said. ''We need every single
point we can get.''
Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson will miss at least the
next two weeks with a sprained right knee, which he injured during
the 3-3 tie Thursday night with the Devils. ... The shuttle between
Long Island and Bridgeport was busy Saturday. The Islanders sent
down defenseman Alain Nasreddine, center Justin Mapletoft and wing
Mattias Weinhandl, and brought up defensemen Alan Letang and Sven
Butenschon and wing Eric Godard. ... Sabres forward Tim Connolly
has the third- longest game-playing streak in the NHL, with 270
consecutive appearances. He trails Robert Svehla (364) and Michael
Nylander (293). ... Peter Laviolette is just nine victories away from
second place in coaching victories for the Islanders. Terry Simpson
had 81 triumphs. The leader, Al Arbour, had 739.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Location: Uniondale, New York
Referees: Mark Faucette, Rob Martell Linesmen: Brian Murphy, Anthony Sericolo
Attendance: 15,118 (92.8% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Shawn Bates (11)
Miroslav Satan (23)
Assists: Brian Campbell, Curtis Brown