The New York Islanders fell 6-3 on Tuesday night as their skid reaches three games. The Islanders move to 18-19-6 on the season, 9-9-3 on the road.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Former New York Islander forward Kyle Okposo gave the Buffalo Sabres a 1-0 lead at 10:53 of the first period. Casey Fitzgerald found Okposo towards the left post who deflected the puck over the blocker of New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin. Fitzgerald and Cody Eakin were credited with the assists on Okposo’s 10th of the season.
Over a minute later, Kyle Palmieri tied the contest with his second of the season. On a rush, Anthony Beauvillier fed him at the right post for a tap-in at 12:06 of the first period. Sebastian Aho was credited with the secondary assist.
While shorthanded, Tage Thompson gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead just over 1:30 into the second period. Ilya Sorokin made a strong save on a Dylan Cozens one-timer but the rebound went right to Thompson, who buried for his 16th of the season.
Anders Lee tied the contest at 2 at 7:11 of the second period. From his office, he buried a rebound following a Zdeno Chara slap-shot for his 13th of the season. Chara and Mathew Barzal were credited with the assists.
With one second left on the clock in the second period, Alex Tuch deflected a Peyton Krebs shot past Sorokin from the low slot while on the power play to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead. Krebs and Rasmus Dahlen recorded the assists on the goal.
Kyle Palmieri scored his second of the contest as he banked a shot off the back of Dustin Tokarski at 9:56 of the third period. Lee and Dobson were credited with the assist on Palmieri’s third of the season.
Victor Olofsson gave the Sabres a 4-3 lead as a feed by Krebs found him all alone inside the right circle and his shot beat Sorokin glove side. Olofsson’s sixth of the season was assisted by Krebs and Cozens with under three minutes to play.
Henri Jokiharju scored the empty-netter to make it a 5-3 game, which was then followed up by another empty netter from Oloffson to make it 6-3.
Mistakes In Own Zone Prove Costly
The New York Islanders have made plenty of mistakes this season, but they had been able to weather that storm against the weaker teams. However, a few mistakes against the Buffalo Sabres proved costly.
The first goal of the game for the Sabres came after Kyle Okposo was left all alone backdoor. The second goal again saw the Islanders fail to pick up their man as Tage Thompson was left all alone for an easy rebound. Prior to that goal, Noah Dobson was lackadaisical getting too a loose puck and failed to play sound defense.
And the third goal, a combination of a bad penalty and a failed clear, allowed the Sabres to take the lead with less than a second to play in the second period.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 16, 2022
The eventual game-winner, the Sabres fourth of the season saw Zdeno Chara allow a seam pass to get through him before the shot beat Sorokin.
Another night of sloppy defense, another loss.
Kyle Palmieri Snaps Goal Drought, Scored Twice
New York Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri had not played in the last three games. After missing the contests against the Vancouver Canucks after becoming a father, Islanders head coach Barry Trotz sat him on Friday and Saturday.
In his return to the lineup on Tuesday, Kyle Palmieri was slotted in on the second line alongside Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson. After the Islanders went down a goal, Anthony Beauvillier connected with Palmieri to get the score tied.
Unreal finish. pic.twitter.com/Ewp0H0713b
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 16, 2022
That was Kyle Palmieri’s first goal in 16 games, and first point in 15 games.
His second of the contest tied the score at three in the third period.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) February 16, 2022
Kyle Palmieri told MSG Networks Shannon Hogan that his wife sent a picture of their newborn in his Islanders jersey before the game.
Sorokin Sharp in Goal
It had not been an easy time for Sorokin recently in goal. Although the defense in front of him had been far from stellar, he’s had some issues of his own.
But against the Buffalo Sabres, Sorokin looked rather strong.
Throughout the sixty-minute affair, I only can remember one time where Sorokin failed to control a rebound and it did not lead to a goal.
Even on the Tage Thompson rebound goal, Sorokin put the puck where you are trained to put it, a rather impressive thing to do on a one-timer. It was just an unfortunate bounce for Sorokin given the location of Thompson on the ice.
On the Sabres fourth tally, Sorokin was able to get over in time, but just could not get his glove on the shot. Tough shot to stop, as that pass cannot get through.
Sorokin faced 39 shots and stopped 35.
Quotes From Kyle Palmieri, Barry Trotz, and Anders Lee
“I mean, that’s great and all but at the end of the day my job is to help this team win and we didn’t bring our best stuff for tonight and we knew how big of a game it was for us.”–Kyle Palmieri
“Well, it’s been concerning for a while so. You know, I thought our effort was pretty decent. We were flat for a little bit in the second but we got her got it going and then early part of the third was really good. We had one or two shifts where their big line held us in and we didn’t clear the puck out. We made a couple of puck decisions on our last couple of battles on the wall and they kept it in. Our effort was commanded today. Put it that way. But it wasn’t our best game. We lost so it can’t be.”–Barry Trotz
“We’ve got a lot to work on. It starts with ourselves and playing for the guy next to you and building off of individually and as a team, playing the right way.”–Anders Lee
New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz changed his lines after keeping them the same over the last three contests.
Kyle Palmieri, who was a healthy scratch for the second straight game, slotted in on the second line with Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson. Josh Bailey was back on the top line and Cal Clutterbuck was back on the fourth line.
Sebastian Aho made his way back into the lineup as he was paired with Ryan Pulock.
Ross Johnston, Andy Greene, and Kieffer Bellows were scratched.
WHAT’S NEXT: The New York Islanders will face the Boston Bruins on Thursday at 7:30 PM ET