New York Islanders edge Sabres in overtime 3-2 to close homestand (Highlights)
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The New York Islanders earned two huge points over the Buffalo Sabres, while the PK went 4/4 and Halak notched 35 saves.

  • New York Islanders: 3 (20-13-4, 44 points)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 2 (9-20-8, 26 points)
  • NYI Goals: Jason Chimera (2), Josh Bailey (11), Mathew Barzal (13)
  • BUF Goals: Zemgus Girgensons (3), Kyle Okposo (6)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

Coming off of a bit of a cold streak, the New York Islanders got what they needed in the last five games at home. Going 3-1-1 in that span, the Islanders got everything they needed to formulate a win tonight.

Solid performance from Jaroslav Halak? Check. Halak made 35 saves to keep the Buffalo Sabres off the board in key moments, including a game-changing stop that resulted in the overtime winner from Mathew Barzal.

New York Islanders

Recap

The Isles were off to an ideal start, pouncing on the Sabres immediately, but not without retaliation. The game was evenly contested, with shots coming out to 37-34 for the Sabres.

The scoring wouldn’t start until the second period, where Jason Chimera earned his second goal of the season after a great shift from the fourth line.


Zemgus Girgensons would have it tied after a behind-the-net pass from Jack Eichel, and that score would remain until the third period.

Everyone’s favorite Sabre, Kyle Okposo, had the game winner in hand for the majority of the third after this play, and hats off to him on a strong effort to clean up a goal.

What happened next was the perfect culmination of everything going right in favor of the Islanders. With Halak on the bench, John Tavares finds Josh Bailey for what would eventually come out to be the game-tying goal.

With that, the Islanders salvaged a point and continued the battle for the second one in overtime.

Where a stunning save from Halak on one end…

…resulted in Barzal’s 13th of the season, and the winner for the Islanders on the other.

Takeaways

By far, the two most important statistics in this game are in the net and beyond. Halak’s 35 saves put him at a .946 save percentage on the evening, and shows how well he’s been rebounding for the Islanders, who so desperately need either Halak or Thomas Greiss to get hot.

In his last six starts, Halak has a save percentage of .913, which should be a sign of staggering improvement in contrast when compared with the team’s save percentage.

Bailey’s 11th goal came in 37 games so far this season after scoring 13 all of last year. He’s currently riding his second nine-game point streak of the season which is the longest active in the NHL.

The Islanders managed to carry momentum out of Brooklyn after a strong five-game push for 7/10 points. They stay alive in the playoff race — currently in the Wild Card — and will conclude their 2017 year in Winnipeg on Friday at 8 p.m., and ring in the new year in Colorado against the Avalanche.

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