The Buffalo Sabres' losing streak hit an ugly seventh game on Sunday after another defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders, 5-2 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island. It's the third game in a row that has ended with such a final score, all favoring the Islanders.
After a scoreless opening period, the Islanders broke the ice with a pair of goals in quick succession.
At the 5:13 mark of the middle stanza, Anders Lee continued to terrorize the Sabres with his 12th goal of the season, and sixth against Buffalo. Just 62 seconds later, Brock Nelson tallied his eighth goal of the campaign, and third versus the blue and gold.
The onslaught continued in the late goings of the second, when Casey Cizikas made it a 3-0 contest with help from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Adam Pelech.
As the horn finally sounded on the middle period, it put a wrap on a chilling weekend stat: The Islanders out-scored the Sabres 7-0 over both second periods on both Saturday afternoon (4) and Sunday afternoon (3).
Buffalo finally got on the board 5:41 into the the third period of play, as a struggling Jeff Skinner roofed a backhander past Islanders rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin.
The outburst of appreciation for Skinner's first goal since Feb. 29, 2020 exploded immediately on Twitter:
Just four minutes later, the Sabres made it a one-goal contest on Long Island when defenseman Colin Miller wired a wrist shot past Sorokin. It was Miller's third goal of the 2020-21 campaign, as Buffalo showed signs of life after a lifeless two periods of play.
Unfortunately for the blue and gold, as soon as they seemed to cement themselves into the contest, the Islanders had a response. The home team's lead grew to 4-2 at the 12:57 mark when forward Cal Clutterbuck stashed home his second goal of the weekend, moments after a turnover from Sabres defenseman Brandon Davidson.
The icing on the cake was a Nelson empty-net goal with 2:12 to play. That pushed the final to 5-2; the third-such time this season that score has occurred between these two teams. All three have favored the Islanders, and all three occurred during this three-game series, as they pushed their record to 6-0-0 against the Sabres in the 2020-21 season.
Buffalo's losing streak hit an unlucky seven in a row as their record falls to 6-14-3. Their last victory remains Feb. 23 against the New Jersey Devils.
NYI: 5:13 - Anders Lee (12) (Jordan Eberle, Noah Dobson); 6:15 - Brock Nelson (8) (Oliver Wahlstrom, Nick Leddy); 16:56 - Casey Cizikas (4) (Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Adam Pelech)
BUF: 5:41 - Jeff Skinner (1) (Curtis Lazar, Casey Mittelstadt); 9:35 - Colin Miller (3) (Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall)
NYI: 12:57 - Cal Clutterbuck (3) (Matt Martin); 17:48 - Brock Nelson (9) ENG (Ryan Pulock)
BUF: 18:53 - Rasmus Dahlin (Interference - 2 min.)
BUF: 3:07 - Cody Eakin (Holding - 2 min.)
NYI: 9:07 - Scott Mayfield (Tripping - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Casey Cizikas - NYI
2.) Brock Nelson - NYI
3.) Cal Clutterbuck - NYI
The blue and gold wrap up their five-game road trip on Tuesday in Philadelphia against the Flyers. Puck drop at Wells Fargo Center is set for 7 p.m. EST with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog set for 6 p.m. EST on the radio home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.