BUFFALO, N.Y. — Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves, and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 on Saturday night for their ninth straight win.
Derick Brassard scored in the first period as the Islanders continued their longest unbeaten streak in 30 years. They have won nine in a row twice before, most recently from Dec. 31, 1989 to Jan. 19, 1990, and during a franchise-record 15-game win streak during the 1981-82 season.
The Sabres lost in regulation at home for the first time this season and are on a three-game skid entering a trip to Sweden next week for two games as part of the NHL Global Series. After starting the season 8-1-1, Buffalo has lost four of five.
Carter Hutton stopped 20 shots to keep the Sabres in the game. Buffalo was coming off a 6-1 loss at Washington on Friday night during which Linus Ullmark allowed four goals in the first 12 minutes.
The Sabres’ attack continued to struggle against Varlamov, who recorded his first shutout of the season and fifth straight victory following an 0-2 start.
Brassard extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best five games and gave the Islanders an early lead. Receiving a pass from Anthony Beauvillier along the end boards, Brassard backhanded the puck toward the front of the net, and it bounced in off the back of Hutton’s right leg 5:19 into the first period.
The Islanders assigned F Andrew Ladd to the minors on Saturday to work on his conditioning as he nears a return from a torn ACL he suffered in March. … Sabres D Brandon Montour made his season debut after injuring his hand during the preseason. He replaced Marco Scandella in the lineup. … F Steve Vesey (upper body) returned after missing three games and skated on the Sabres’ top line. … Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck played in his 800th NHL game. … Rene Robert, Jim Schoenfeld and Danny Gare were among a group of more than 20 players from Buffalo’s 1970s teams honoured during a pregame ceremony as part of the franchise’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Islanders: Will go for their 10th straight win on Tuesday when they host the Ottawa Senators, opening a four-game homestand.
Sabres: Travel to Stockholm to face the Lightning on Friday and Saturday as part of the NHL Global Series.
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Jonah Bronstein, The Associated Press