New York Islanders Edge Sabres 4-2, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive 1
Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) celebrates a goal against the Buffalo Sabres with his teammates during the third period at KeyBank Center. Anders Lee had two goals in the 3rd period. Islanders beat the Sabres 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In their first game of the season without their captain, John Tavares, the Islanders showed fight and heart in a 4-2 win over the Sabres.

Apr 2, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) brings the puck into the Buffalo Sabres zone during the third period at KeyBank Center. Islanders beat the Sabres 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

&lt;dropcap>A</dropcap>s the Islanders continue to play through their remaining games, the gravity of each one is increased exponentially. Each game is game 7, and the Islanders are essentially down 2-0 heading into the third period.

So long as they take care of their own business, they can set themselves up in the best position. For once, maybe NOT looking at the standings would give them a better drive without the added pressure.

For today’s contest in Buffalo, the Islanders certainly took care of business in a 4-2 win over the Sabres. Jaroslav Halak now has his third win of 2017, and is 3-1-0 (taxed with loss in PHI after relief appearance) with a .946 save percentage in today’s contest.

CHECK OUT the New York Islanders Team Center: News, Stats, Standings

Scoring

The goals of the game came from Cal Clutterbuck, who started the scoring halfway through the first for the Islanders.

After having Evander Kane of the Sabres tie the game, Josh Ho-Sang received a pass from Dennis Seidenberg to restore the Islanders lead just 56 seconds after the Sabres’ goal.

The Sabres responded once more, with Zemgus Girgensons getting the second goal for the Sabres. Ho-Sang set up numerous chances once more just a couple shifts after the tying goal, but no dice.

Anders Lee was looking for his 30th goal of the season heading into this game and subsequently the first 30-goal season of his career.

He would certainly get that, and more as Lee potted his 30th goal of the year…

…and his 31st after a turnover right in front of the net.

The win keeps the Islanders playoff hopes alive, as the Isles now have 86 points on the season and are looking to pull themselves out of a deep hole they dug.

They are now chasing Ottawa and Toronto, who both have 91 points as of today. The Isles just need to take care of business from here on out. Just win.

 NEXT: Why the New York Islanders’ Disappointing Finish Matters 


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Matt Di Giacomo

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Spent 3 1/2 years at West Chester University, now concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more.

Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @BR_SportsCast and check out his reviews on YouTube.