STREAKIN’ ON THE ISLE

Is­lan­ders extend home streak to 6 with 3-2 OT win over Sabres

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - By Al­lan Kreda As­so­ci­ated Press

UNION­DALE, N.Y. (AP) >> Even though it took a few ex­tra min­utes on Satur­day, the Is­lan­ders earned yet an­other vic­tory at home.

An­thony Beauvil­lier scored in over­time to lift the Is­lan­ders to a 3-2 win over the Buf­falo Sabres, ex­tend­ing New York’s home win­ning streak to six games and snap­ping the Sabres’ win streak at three.

Beauvil­lier scored on a break­away at 3:04 against Sabres goalie Li­nus Ull­mark for his 10th goal of the sea­son. He fin­ished off a se­quence in over­time in which he ac­ci­den­tally got tan­gled up with Ull­mark in the crease, then was tripped in the Sabres zone be­fore he cor­ralled the puck for the win­ning play.

“I put my head down, put a shot on goal and it went in,’’ he said of his ex­tra-ses­sion score. “I found some legs on the way to the break­away. I’ll take it.”

The Is­lan­ders im­proved to 13-2-1 over­all be­tween Nas­sau Coli­seum and Brook­lyn’s Bar­clays Cen­ter this sea­son.

“We got the win, the two points,’’ Is­lan­ders coach Barry

Trotz said. “That was para­mount.”

Se­myon Var­malov made 33 saves for the vic­tory to im­prove to 11-3-2 on the sea­son, his first with the Is­lan­ders.

“Varly was solid,’’ Trotz added. “When he had to make a save, he did.”

Jor­dan Eberle had snapped a 1-1 tie with a goal early in the third pe­riod to give the Is­lan­ders a 2-1 lead, but Sabres captain Jack Eichel tied it with a pow­er­play goal at 18:14 af­ter the Sabres pulled Ull­mark for an ex­tra skater while Is­lan­ders for­ward Mathew Barzal served a rough­ing penalty.

Eichel’s 23rd goal of the sea­son was as­sisted by Ras­mus Ris­to­lainen and Vic­tor Olof­s­son and sent the game into over­time. Eichel has ex­tended his points streak to 16 games when he as­sisted on Vic­tor Olof­s­son’s sec­ond-pe­riod goal. Eichel has 15 goals and 14 as­sists dur­ing the streak.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger was up­beat de­spite the de­feat.

“It was an out­stand­ing hockey game, hard fought to the last sec­ond,’’ he said. “They played their game and I was proud we played our game. I thought there were a lot of times we dom­i­nated but didn’t cre­ate scor­ing chances. Dis­ap­point­ing in over­time but gen­er­ally a su­per ef­fort by the guys.”

Eberle, who en­tered the game with only two goals in 20 games this sea­son, scored his third at 4:50 of the third when his shot from the slot eluded Ull­mark. Brock Nel­son as­sisted.

Eberle signed a five-year, $27.5 mil­lion free-agent con­tract in July to stay with the Is­lan­ders af­ter scor­ing 19 goals last sea­son and 25 the pre­vi­ous one for the Is­lan­ders.

Michael Dal Colle opened the scor­ing for the Is­lan­ders at 5:11 of the first pe­riod when he knocked a loose puck past Ull­mark. Beauvil­lier had the lone as­sist.

The goal was the sec­ond this sea­son for Dal Colle, the fifth over­all pick by the Is­lan­ders in the 2014 draft who found a spot in re­cent games on a line with Beauvil­lier and Nel­son. Dal Colle later left the game with an up­per body in­jury thus Eberle be­came part of the unit in the third.

“Guys that fill in are ex­cited to jump on that line,’’ Trotz said.

Olof­s­son had tied the game with a power-play goal at 6:11 of the sec­ond, ri­fling the puck past Var­malov. The goal was Olof­s­son’s 14th this sea­son, which leads all rook­ies. As­sists went to de­fense­man

Ras­mus Dahlin and Eichel.

Olof­s­son has 21 points in the past 19 games — with eight goals and 13 as­sists. The 24-year-old Swede was a sev­enth-round pick by the Sabres in 2014, taken 176 spots af­ter Dal Colle. Olof­s­son also leads NHL rook­ies with 31 points over­all.

The Is­lan­ders were re­turn­ing af­ter a three-game road trip on which they won at Tampa Bay and Florida af­ter a loss in Dal­las.

They have won eight straight games at Nas­sau Coli­seum dur­ing a sea­son in which they are split­ting games be­tween Long Is­land and Brook­lyn, play­ing 28 con­tests at Nas­sau Coli­seum and 13 games at Bar­clays Cen­ter.

De­spite Buf­falo’s late ty­ing goal, Beauvil­lier said there no panic on the Is­lan­ders bench.

“As soon as the third pe­riod was over, we just said let’s go get the two points,’’ added the 22-year-old Beauvilier, who has 20 points this sea­son. “They scored late but we did a good job com­ing back and stay­ing fo­cused.”

Buf­falo ar­rived on an offensive surge with 36 goals in its past nine games dur­ing which it was 5-1-3. The Sabres met the Is­lan­ders and their stingy de­fense, which has per­mit­ted a league-low 72 goals over the first 31 games.

MARK LENNIHAN - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Is­lan­ders cel­e­brate their 3-2over­time win against Buf­falo Sabres, Satur­day, Dec. 14, 2019in Union­dale, N.Y.

MARK LENNIHAN - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Is­lan­ders left wing An­thony Beauvil­lier (18) cel­e­brates his game-win­ning over­time goal against the Buf­falo Sabres with team­mates Mathew Barzal (13) and Devon Toews, cen­ter, in an NHL hockey game, Satur­day, Dec. 14, 2019 in Union­dale, N.Y. The Is­lan­ders won 3-2.

MARK LENNIHAN - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New York Is­lan­ders right wing Jor­dan Eberle (7) cel­e­brates his third pe­riod goal against the Buf­falo Sabres in an NHL hockey game, Satur­day, Dec. 14, 2019 in Union­dale, N.Y. The Is­lan­ders won 3-2 in over­time.

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