Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - After watching Ryan Miller's No. 30 raised to the rafters in a stirring pregame ceremony, a sold out KeyBank Center crowd witnessed the Buffalo Sabres come away with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders.
Dylan Cozens' game-winning goal came just 12 seconds into overtime, and was the team's 45th shot on goal of the game.
The Islanders were able to strike first, despite several quality scoring chances for Buffalo in the opening minutes. Brock Nelson was able to tap in a one-time pass from Anthony Beauvillier to give New York a 1-0 lead seven minutes in.
The Sabres were credited with 19 shots on goal in the opening period, but were unable to beat goalie Ilya Sorokin. Buffalo had the only power play chance in the period as well, when Sebastian Aho was called for holding.
Alex Tuch was able to take advantage of a blocked shot in front of the net and slam the puck across the goal line to tie the score, 1-1, midway through the middle frame.
Jeff Skinner won the faceoff to start the chance, and Rasmus Dahlin took the initial shot. Both players were awarded assists on the game-tying goal.
Matt Martin converted on a one-timer chance for the Islanders late in the second period to put the team back in front, 2-1. Casey Cizikas made the pass across the ice that helped create the go-ahead goal.
Midway through the third period, the Sabres were able to take advantage of a loose puck in the offensive zone and create a scoring chance to tie the game at 2-2. Casey Mittelstadt passed the puck to the front of the net, and Victor Olofsson scored his 19th goal of the season.
The Sabres had several more chances before the end of regulation to win the game, but could not convert.
It wasn't until overtime after Cozens won the opening faceoff, and a Dahlin lob pass sprung the 21-year-old to beat Sorokin for the game-winning score.
NYI: 7:19 - Brock Nelson (16) (Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey)
BUF: 8:26 - Alex Tuch (22) (Rasmus Dahlin, Jeff Skinner)
NYI: 18:30 - Matt Martin (5) (Casey Cizikas)
BUF: 9:32 - Victor Olofsson (19) (Casey Mittelstadt, Tyson Jost)
BUF: 0:12 - Dylan Cozens (15) (Rasmus Dahlin, Tage Thompson)
NYI: 9:11 - Sebastian Aho (Holding - 2 min.)
BUF: 16:01 - Rasmus Dahlin (Interference - 2 min.)
NYI: 3:36 - Noah Dobson (High sticking - 2 min.); 9:01 - Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Cross-checking - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Dylan Cozens - BUF
2.) Alex Tuch - BUF
3.) Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - BUF
The Sabres will remain home to host one of Miller's former teams on Saturday afternoon. Buffalo and the Anaheim Ducks drop the puck at 12:30 p.m. EST on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. EST with Brian Koziol.