Any coach would expect a strong game after a tough loss. The Islanders delivered. The team scored two shorthanded goals en route to a 6-3 victory in the 2017-2018 home opener.
The Islanders got to work early, converting on a 2-on-1 not even five minutes into the game. John Tavares put home the cross-crease feed from Jordan Eberle, sending the sellout Barclays Center crowd to its feet. The Sabres rallied hard towards the end of the frame but were unable to put anything past Jaroslav Halak.
About five minutes into the second period, Scott Mayfield took a roughing penalty after the whistle and sent the Sabres to the powerplay. As the Sabres were exiting the zone, however, Marcus Foligno turned the puck over to a pinching John Tavares who slotted the puck past Robin Lehner to make it 2-0. Then, seconds later, on the same penalty kill, Andrew Ladd chipped a pass to Casey Cizikas who wired a shot off the post and in. As the powerplay expired, Josh Ho-Sang, who was serving the extra penalty on Mayfield, flew out of the box and helped set up Josh Bailey for another quick goal.
The Sabres were able to capitalize on shorthanded chances as well, as Evander Kane scored on a miscue by Halak behind the net and then again a few minutes later from behind the net.
The third period was fairly strong for the Islanders, as Anthony Beauvillier potted the fifth goal of the game for the Isles. Jack Eichel scored later in the period for the Sabres but Casey Cizikas put home the empty netter as the Islanders won their first game of the season.
Notable Islanders Stats:
- 33 SOG
- 53% FOW
- 0/3 PP
- 4/4 PK
- 10 PIM
- 25 HITS
- John Tavares, 2G 1A +3
- Casey Cizikas, 2G 1A +3
- Calvin de Haan, +3
- Nick Leddy, 1A 19:57 TOI +1
- Jaroslav Halak 26-29 .897 SV%