for this game

Hilbert, MacDonald lead Islanders over Sabres

Nov 23, 2008 - 5:47 AM BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Andy Hilbert and the New York Islanders are beaming with confidence for the first time in quite a while.

Hilbert recorded a goal and an assist and Joey MacDonald made 35 saves as the Islanders skated to a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

Jon Sim netted a power-play goal, captain Bill Guerin added his seventh tally of the season and defenseman Mark Streit had an empty-netter with two seconds left in the third period for the Islanders, who have won four of five.

"We're confident. We know we have a good team in here as long as we play our system the way we're capable of playing it," Hilbert said. "We have to play 60 minutes and we have to play our type of system. We can't take 20 minutes off. Then, it doesn't work."

Buffalo outshot New York, 37-26, overall and by a 18-2 margin in the second period, during which MacDonald kept the Sabres off the scoreboard.

"I thought we came out pretty good. The first 10 minutes, we kind of put it to them," MacDonald said. "Then they got back in the game and got a goal. The second period, they put a lot of pressure on, put a lot of pucks on the net, but we stood our ground. The defense did a good job letting me see the puck. They took care of the rebounds."

MacDonald has now surrendered three goals or less in nine of his last 10 contests. The 28-year-old, who has done a valiant job filling in for the injured Rick DiPietro, was exposed in a 7-1 loss to the Sabres on October 13.

"That's what my job is. I've got to come up and make the save when we need it," MacDonald said. "Like I said, they threw a lot of pucks on the net in the second period. I saw a lot of them, gave up some rebounds I wish I had back. Our defense did a great job clearing the rebounds away."

Recalled from Portland on Friday, Mark Mancari - the leading scorer in the American Hockey League - scored in his second game of the season and Derek Roy also tallied for Buffalo, which has lost a season-high five in a row.

"I don't know what's going on," Mancari said. "We didn't have the good start that we wanted. We weren't moving our legs, we weren't creating chances. In the second period, I thought we were better. In the third, it kind of tailed off again."

It is the first time the Sabres have lost five straight in regulation since March 18-25, 2006.

Hilbert opened the scoring with 5:40 left in the first, deflecting Trent Hunter's initial attempt over the shoulder of netminder Patrick Lalime, who played in favor of the struggling Ryan Miller.

In an effort to shake up his floundering offense, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff benched defenseman Henrik Tallinder and Maxim Afinogenov for the second straight contest, but the moves failed to pay off as the Sabres were unsuccessful one night after being blanked at home for the first time since November 9, 2007 by the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It's tough right now," Ruff said. "But I don't think we did enough good things today. On the first goal, we got caught and had to scramble a little bit. We took the first four penalties of the game, which isn't good enough. It took a few players out of the game for a while."

Due to the healthy scratches, Mancari has made the most of his time on the ice. The 23-year-old forged a 1-1 tie by burying a rebound from the front of the crease with 61 seconds remaining in the opening session for his first career goal.

"It would have been nice to get it (Friday)," Mancari said. "It was nice to get it out of the way, but first and foremost, we want to win some games."

The Islanders reclaimed the lead on the power play, when Sim deflected a shot by Streit past Lalime at 7:41 of the second.

Guerin increased the advantage to 3-1 just four minutes into the third, when he lifted a backhander by Lalime after receiving a pass from Hilbert, who had gained possession of the puck along the left wing boards.

"In a game like this, any goal is going to be big," Guerin said. "It turned out to be a big one because they kept coming at us. We needed a bit of a cushion. When you're up against a talented team like Buffalo, they can turn it up at any moment and produce offense. The bigger the cushion, the better."

Roy halved the deficit with 4 1/2 minutes left, weaving through several defenders and blasting a slap shot from the left faceoff circle past MacDonald. But Streit secured the victory by wristing the puck into an empty net from center ice in the waning seconds.

"We just have to keep putting pucks on net," Sabres right wing Jason Pominville said. "You look at their goals, they put a couple on net. They were fortunate on a couple, they got good bounces. We're not getting the bounces.

"That's when you have to work harder, keep doing those things, keep throwing pucks on net. Eventually, hopefully, we can get rewarded."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2 4
    BUFFALO 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - ANDY HILBERT 5 (TRENT HUNTER, JOSH BAILEY) 14:20
    BUF - MARK MANCARI 1 (PAUL GAUSTAD, DANIEL PAILLE) 18:59
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) JON SIM 5 (MARK STREIT, CHRIS CAMPOLI) 7:41
    3RD PRD: NYI - BILL GUERIN 7 (ANDY HILBER

    Nov 22 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: NYI - (PP) (EN) MARK STREIT 5 (DOUG WEIGHT) 19:58

    Islanders 4, Sabres 2  3rd - 0:02Nov 22 9:37 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Islanders 4, Sabres 2  3rd - 0:02Nov 22 9:37 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Islanders 3, Sabres 2  3rd - 2:20Nov 22 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    BUFFALO 2
    3RD PRD: BUF - DEREK ROY 4 (ANDREJ SEKERA) 15:26

    Islanders 3, Sabres 2  3rd - 4:34Nov 22 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    BUFFALO 1
    3RD PRD: NYI - BILL GUERIN 7 (ANDY HILBERT, DOUG WEIGHT) 4:24

    Islanders 3, Sabres 1  3rd - 15:36Nov 22 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1 2
    BUFFALO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - ANDY HILBERT 5 (TRENT HUNTER, JOSH BAILEY) 14:20
    BUF - MARK MANCARI 1 (PAUL GAUSTAD, DANIEL PAILLE) 18:59
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) JON SIM 5 (MARK STREIT, CHRIS CAMPOLI) 7:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2

    Nov 22 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) JON SIM 5 (MARK STREIT, CHRIS CAMPOLI) 7:41

    Islanders 2, Sabres 1  2nd - 12:19Nov 22 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 1 1
    BUFFALO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - ANDY HILBERT 5 (TRENT HUNTER, JOSH BAILEY) 14:20
    BUF - MARK MANCARI 1 (PAUL GAUSTAD, DANIEL PAILLE) 18:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 12 12
    BU

    Nov 22 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - MARK MANCARI 1 (PAUL GAUSTAD, DANIEL PAILLE) 18:59

    Islanders 1, Sabres 1  1st - 1:01Nov 22 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: NYI - ANDY HILBERT 5 (TRENT HUNTER, JOSH BAILEY) 14:20

    Islanders 1, Sabres 0  1st - 5:40Nov 22 7:38 PM