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Preview: Buffalo at NY Islanders
When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, November 1, 2015
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
The New York Islanders hope to have their captain back in the lineup as they attempt to extend their point streak to five games when they host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. John Tavares, who leads New York with 11 points, was a late scratch for Saturday afternoon’s shootout loss to the Devils in New Jersey due to an illness and was sent home.
“I just wanted to wait to make sure that he got re-evaluated by our doctors,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano told reporters. “He’s just not feeling too well right now.” New York rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a point against New Jersey and move to 2-0-2 in its last four contests. Buffalo is looking to put together consecutive victories for the first time this season after defeating Philadelphia on Friday for the second time in four days. The Islanders went 2-0-1 against the Sabres last season, including a 3-0 triumph at home.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG (Buffalo), MSG Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE SABRES (4-7-0): New York will get its first look at promising rookie Jack Eichel, who has endured some growing pains in the early going. The 19-year-old, who was this year’s second overall draft pick, has recorded four goals in 11 games this season, scoring in two of his first three NHL contests and two of his last four. Eichel has been getting more chances of late, registering 14 shots in his last two games after recording 15 over his previous four contests.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (6-2-3): Tavares is not the only member of the team to feel under the weather this week as Jaroslav Halak and Ryan Strome missed Thursday’s overtime loss to Carolina, but both returned to action against New Jersey. Two of Anders Lee’s three goals this season have come on the power play, while both of Mikhail Grabovski’s tallies were game-winners. Frans Nielsen is riding a three-game goal-scoring streak during which he has netted four of his five tallies on the season.
1. The Islanders have scored a power-play goal in five straight games and are a perfect 26-for-26 on the penalty kill over their last eight contests.
2. Buffalo C Tyler Ennis has missed two games with a lower-body injury and will be a game-time decision.
3. Eichel is tied for the team lead in goals with C Ryan O’Reilly, who also tops the club with 13 points.
PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Sabres 1