Tavares Helps Islanders Knock Off Buffalo, 6-3, In Home Opener
NEW YORK — John Tavares scored twice to lead the New York Islanders to a 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in their home opener Saturday night.
Casey Cizikas had two goals and an assist, and Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier also scored for the Islanders, who won a night after losing 5-0 at Columbus. Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots.
Evander Kane scored twice and Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who are still seeking their first win under new coach Phil Housley. Robin Lehner gave up four goals on 16 shots and was pulled early in the second. Chad Johnson finished with 15 saves.
The Islanders were 0 for 3 on the power play and Buffalo was 0 for 4, but each team scored two short-handed goals in a wild second period.
New York scored three times — including twice short-handed — in a 1:47 span that gave them a 4-0 lead seven minutes into the period.
Buffalo went on the power play 4:50 in after the Islanders’ Scott Mayfield was whistled for a double-minor when he got tangled up with Rasmus Ristolainen, who also received a penalty.
Tavares got his second of the night as he intercepted a pass by Nathan Beaulieu near Buffalo’s blue line, skated in on Lehner and backhanded it over the goalie’s glove at 5:13.
Cizikas made it 3-0 just 50 seconds later on the same Buffalo power play on a slap shot from the left circle.
Shortly after the Sabres’ power play ended, Bailey got a pass from Josh Ho-Sang from behind the goal line and wristed it past Lehner’s blocker to make it 4-0 and end the goalie’s night.
Kane got the Sabres on the scoreboard just past the midpoint of the period. With New York on the man advantage, Eichel stole the puck from Halak behind the net and sent a pass from the left corner in front to Kane, who put it in before Halak could recover.