RECAP: Late power-play goal pushes New York Islanders past Buffalo Sabres

Feb 22, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) and Buffalo Sabres center Sam Reinhart (23) come together at the boards during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored the tiebreaking power-play goal with 4:52 left Monday night for the New York Islanders, who edged the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in Uniondale, N.Y.

Pageau put home the rebound of a shot by Oliver Wahlstrom to cap a power play generated when the Sabres’ Riley Sheahan was whistled for tripping with 6:35 left.

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Anders Lee and Matt Martin also scored for the Islanders, who snapped a two-game losing streak. New York goalie Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves.

Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart scored for the Sabres, who lost for the fourth time in five games since returning from their coronavirus pause. Buffalo absorbed another loss earlier in the day when it learned defenseman Jake McCabe will be out the rest of the season with right knee injuries sustained Saturday.

Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark recorded 20 saves.

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Lazar put the Sabres ahead with 2:45 left in the first. His redirect of a shot by Henri Jokiharju bounced over the right leg of Varlamov, who was screened by teammate Nick Leddy.

A pair of thefts by the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal led to Lee’s game-tying goal early in the second period.

Barzal stole the puck from Lazar in the Sabres’ zone and flicked a pass off the boards. Ullmark retrieved it and tried firing a clearing pass up the ice, but Barzal darted in front of Jokiharju and sent a no-look pass to Ryan Pulock, who went to one knee and fired into the crease. Jordan Eberle redirected the puck to Lee, who shuffled between the backhand and forehand before backhanding a shot past Ullmark at the 3:56 mark.

The Islanders took a short-lived lead early in the third period. Martin corralled the rebound of a shot by Andy Greene and fired a shot past Ullmark, who was screened by teammate Colin Miller at the 3:01 mark.

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Lee was called for interference to set up the game-tying power play goal by the Sabres fewer than three minutes later. Reinhart initially redirected a shot by Victor Olofsson and managed to bat the rebound in the air and past Varlamov with 14:12 left.

–Field Level Media