The New York Islanders got another strong performance from Thomas Greiss and cruised to a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres at Barclays Center. Five different Islanders scored goals while Greiss made 29 saves to earn the win. The Isles lost the shutout with just over one minute left in the game.
The win was the second straight for the Islanders who head into the holiday break on a winning note. Special teams were strong for the home team tonight. The Isles killed both Sabres power-play chances and came up with a goal of their own with the man advantage.
The Islanders win spoiled the return of Kyle Okposo who faced the Islanders in Brooklyn for the first time since leaving the team as a free agent this past summer.
An early fight between Johnny Boychuk and Marcus Foligno set the tone. While shots on goal were even in the first period, the Islanders had more quality chances.
The Isles took a 1-0 lead at 12:05 when rookie Anthony Beauvillier made a perfect deflection of a hard shot by Travis Hamonic.
The second period was the strongest for the home team but Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson kept things close early on.
Ryan Strome doubled the Isles lead to 2-0 at 14:36 when he scored his fifth goal of the season.
The Islanders power play added to the lead in the final minute of the second period. With Brian Gionta in the penalty box, John Tavares potted his tenth goal of the season from a sharp angle. The shot was actually intended as a centering pass but it deflected into the goal off some bodies in front. The Islanders led 3-0 after 40 minutes.
The Sabres tried to put some pressure on the Islanders early in order to get back into the game, but Andrew Ladd gave the Islanders a comfortable 4-0 lead 5:35 into the final stanza.
Calvin de Haan added another goal for the home team midway through the third period to give the Isles a 5-0 advantage. Alan Quine set up the play with a delayed pass that found de Haan all alone in the slot, trailing the play.
The Sabres ended Greiss’ shutout bid with 1:03 left in the game when Zegmus Girgensons scored the only Buffalo goal of the game. The Islanders skated away with a satisfying 5-1 lead.
NYI – Anthony Beauvillier (4) assisted by Travis Hamonic and Shane Prince
NYI – Ryan Strome (5) assisted by Cal Clutterbuck and Dennis Seidenberg
NYI – John Tavares PPG (10) assisted by Ryan Strome and Josh Bailey
NYI – Andrew Ladd (5) assisted by Jason Chimera and Travis Hamonic
NYI – Calvin de Haan (2) assisted by Alan Quine and Dennis Seidenberg
BUF – Zemgus Girgensons (3) assisted by Zach Bogosian and Sam Reinhart
THW Three Stars
First: Ryan Strome (GWG, assist)
Second: Andrew Ladd (goal)
Third: Dennis Seidenberg (2 assists)
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders
Barclays Center – 7:00 PM EST on Tuesday December 27
Broadcast Channels: MSG-plus 2, CSN-DC
2016-17 Season Series: October 15, 2016: Washington 2, Islanders 1; December 1, 2016: Islanders 3, Washington 0; December 13, 2016: Washington 4, Islanders 2
Long time hockey writer and author of the new book, “Ice Wars: The Complete History of New York’s Greatest Modern Sports Rivalry.” It tells the story behind every game between the Rangers and Islanders dating back to 1972 and features profiles of more than 80 players from both teams and quotes from more than 50 exclusive interviews from players, coaches and broadcasters from both teams.