Matt Martin produced his first multi-goal game in almost seven years Thursday night for the surging New York Islanders, who never trailed in a 5-2 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres in Uniondale, N.Y.
Martin scored in unusual fashion in the first period before grinding out a second goal in the third for his third career multi-goal game and his first since he scored twice against the Carolina Hurricanes on Mar. 25, 2014.
Noah Dobson scored just beyond the midway point of the first while Anthony Beauvillier and Jordan Eberle scored in the second and third period for the Islanders, who have won five of six (5-0-1) and are 10-2-2 since Feb. 1. Goalie Ilya Sorokin made 16 saves.
Taylor Hall snapped an extended goal-scoring drought in the second period and Rasmus Ristolainen scored in the third for the Sabres, who have lost five straight (0-4-1). Goalie Jonas Johansson recorded 30 saves.
Eberle set up the Islanders’ first goal by passing from deep in the Sabres’ zone to Dobson, who was streaking alone up the ice and fired a shot beyond the stick of Johansson with 9:35 left in the first.
Martin doubled the lead with 3:39 left, when his odd angle shot from behind the net glanced off Johansson’s facemask and into the top of the net.
Hall put back the rebound off a shot by Cody Eakin 3:08 into the second for his first goal since the season opener on Jan. 14.
Beauvillier scored on a semi-breakaway with 5:02 left in the second after Josh Bailey stole the puck from Ristolainen at center ice and passed back to Brock Nelson, whose pass hit Beauvillier in stride. Eberle rebounded an Anders Lee shot and fired beyond Johansson’s glove at the 3:14 mark of the third.
Ristolainen scored on the rebound off a shot by Jack Eichel 4:09 later, but Martin and Casey Cizikas teamed up on the game’s final goal. Martin and Cizikas first won a protracted battle for the puck behind the Sabres’ net with Ristolainen and Brandon Montour. Once Cizikas controlled the puck, he passed to Martin to set up the rare second goal for the 31-year-old fourth-liner.
–Field Level Media