UNIONDALE, N. Suns Jerseys 2020 .Y. -- When the New York Islanders lead was cut in half in the opening minute of the third period, the sense of impending doom began wafting through Nassau Coliseum. After all, the Islanders had won just nine of 20 previous games in which they led after two periods. But Ryan Strome scored 39 seconds later to restore the two-goal lead, and New York cruised from there Saturday night to a 4-1 victory over the lowly Buffalo Sabres. On a recently completed road trip, the Islanders let two-goal leads get away in the third periods of losses to Edmonton and Calgary on consecutive nights. "When (Buffalo) got that power-play goal to start the third period, I know you guys were thinking, Here we go again," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We battled back and we were resilient. It was a good bench. Guys were positive." Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo staked the Islanders to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Strome then netted the big goal to push back the Sabres, and Cal Clutterbuck sealed the win with an empty-net goal one night after New York lost 4-3 at home to San Jose. The Islanders (26-34-9) earned their 10th home win (10-17-8), and did it in a rare matchup against an opponent they are ahead of in the standings. "Anybody can beat anybody in this league no matter where you are," Okposo said. "Thats been proven throughout this whole year. Theyve got some skill over there. "We stuck with our game plan and we outplayed them." Backup goalie Anders Nilsson (3-4-2) earned the win in his 15th NHL game. He lost his shutout bid 56 seconds into the third when Tyler Ennis scored. Nilsson made 33 saves while subbing for No. 1 netminder Evgeni Nabokov, who lost on Friday. "I had the post with me one time, and I think the whole team in front of me played an unbelievable game," said Nilsson, who will turn 24 next week. "They cleared the guys who were in front of me, so I got a clear view of every shot. That makes it a lot easier." Jhonas Enroth stopped 34 shots for Buffalo, which has the fewest points and goals in the NHL. "Scoring has been our problem all season. Tonight was no different," Enroth said. "The effort was there, but we struggle to finish." Earlier in this disappointing season, the Islanders and Sabres swapped star forwards Matt Moulson and Thomas Vanek, but both impending free agents have both been dealt elsewhere since. Fans periodically voiced loud chants of "Snow Must Go," directed toward Islanders general manager Garth Snow. Despite being outshot 14-10 and short-handed three times in the first period, the Islanders took a 2-0 lead. Nielsen put New York in front before the games first stoppage, and Okposo doubled the lead with a power-play goal. After holding his stick in the air waiting to fire, Nielsen unleashed a hard drive from the left circle that struck Enroths glove and found its way in at 3:31 for his 22nd goal. Okposo made it 2-0 with 2:36 left when he corralled a pass from Brock Nelson in the slot and whipped a shot past Enroth 1:11 into Henrik Tallinders holding penalty. It was Okposos team-leading 27th goal and 69th point. He also helped set up Nielsens goal, tying him with injured captain John Tavares with a club-best 42 assists. New York nearly had a third goal, but Enroth made a fine stop against Josh Bailey at the left post when he tried to follow up on Nelsons wraparound attempt. Buffalo mustered five shots during its three failed power plays in the first period. The only advantage the Sabres gave to the Islanders in the frame proved costly when Okposo scored on New Yorks only shot. The trend reversed in the second when New York had a 14-10 shots edge, but neither team scored. Nilssons first scare came when he stopped a shot by Matt DAgostini 2:13 into the second and then had to reach behind him after the puck slid through him and trickled toward the open net. "I thought I had it, but then I heard the fans chanting a little, so I figured it was probably laying behind me," Nilsson said. "Those things happen, but luckily it didnt end up in the net." The Sabres nearly got on the board in the final two seconds of the middle frame when Drew Stafford ripped a shot off a faceoff win in the Islanders end during a Buffalo power play, but Nilsson was there to block it. Ennis scored his 18th goal during that advantage. "You cant expect to win if you score only one goal," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We had some good looks, but we couldnt finish." NOTES: Okposo is one goal shy of 100 in the NHL. ... The Sabres recalled D Rasmus Ristolainen from Rochester (AHL) due to the absence of D Tyler Myers (arm), who will also likely miss Sundays home game against Montreal. ... New York agreed to terms with 2012 draft pick D Adam Pelech on a three-year, entry-level contract. Marquese Chriss Jersey . Dallas (2-0-1) sits atop the Western Conference with an MLS-best seven points. Castillo opened the scoring in the 71st minute off a Mauro Diaz set piece, and Watson outran defender Tony Lochhead on a long ball and then juked goalkeeper Ian Kennedy for the eventual game-winner in the 78th minute. Jared Harper Jersey . -- John Fox will coach the Denver Broncos from the sideline and not the booth upon his return Sunday five weeks after heart surgery.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to pick up where they left off before the Olympic break when they visit the John Tavares-less New York Islanders in Thursdays clash at Nassau Coliseum.Toronto was one of several NHL teams that had hot streaks interrupted by the NHLs Olympic break. The Maple Leafs had won five of six right before the hiatus and the club is 11-2-1 over its last 14 games.With 70 points, the Maple Leafs are currently holding on to the seventh of eight playoff spots in the East. Toronto also is just one point in back of both Tampa Bay and Montreal for second place in the Atlantic Division. The top three teams in each division get an automatic bid to the postseason.Toronto is aiming to qualify for the postseason for the second straight spring. Last season the Leafs halted the longest playoff drought in franchise history by making the postseason for the first time since 2004.The Maple Leafs emerge from the break with a road-heavy schedule ahead of them over the next few weeks. Toronto, which is just 11-12-5 as the away club this season, will play two straight and eight of its next 10 on the road.The Islanders, meanwhile, get to continue a five-game homestand on Thursday, but theyll do so without the services of captain and star centerman Tavares.Tavares helped Team Canada win the Olympic tournament, although he missed the semifinals and gold medal game after suffering a partial tear in the MCL of his left knee. Elie Okobo Jersey. Although the injury was originally feared to be worse, it will still keep Tavares sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. However, he will not need surgery as was originally believed.The culmination of the regular season could mark the end of the 2013-14 campaign for the Islanders, who are already 14 points out of the Easts final playoff berth.Tavares, who expects to miss 8-to-12 weeks while recovering, is New Yorks leading scorer with 66 points and is tied for the team lead with 24 goals. He is also third in the NHL in points.The Islanders lost seven of eight games before the break in a stretch that did serious damage to the clubs postseason chances. Without Tavares, the club expects to have a difficult time getting back into the thick of the playoff race.New York and the Leafs have split two meetings so far in 2013-14, but the Isles are 4-1-1 over the last six encounters between the clubs. Toronto, however, has won three straight and four of the past five games at the Coliseum.The Isles are 8-14-8 as the host team this season. The club is playing the third test of its five-game homestand tonight and will complete the stay on Long Island after welcoming New Jersey and Florida on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. ' ' '
one night after New
one night after New